Atlas project to be finalised

Local wind energy collaboration the South African Wind Energy Programme (SAWEP) is in the final stages of completing the Wind Atlas for South Africa (WASA) Phase 3 project this year, says SAWEP project manager Andre Otto. SAWEP is a multiyear technical assistance project, funded by the Global Environment Facility to support government in promoting the large-scale commercialisation of wind energy.

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Project a blueprint for renewables future

The Oya Energy Hybrid dispatchable facility, which consists of colocated solar, wind and battery storage energy, will form a blueprint for the way in which South Africa’s energy grid will be able to operate on 100% renewable energy, says energy project developer G7 Renewable Energies MD Dr Killian Hagemann. G7 Renewable Energies is the lead developer in the Oya Energy Hybrid dispatchable facility, in the Komsberg Renewable Energy Development Zone in the Western Cape, which was awarded preferred bidder status in the Risk Mitigation Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (RMIPPPP) this year.

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Sun Exchange secures $2.5m convertible note financing

Crowd-based solar leasing platform Sun Exchange has secured $2.5-million in convertible note financing from Mauritian private equity fund ARPF, which is advised by London-based ARCH Emerging Markets Partners (ARCH). This follows the company’s close of a $4-million Series A funding round in 2020, led by a $3-million investment from ARCH.

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Research shows where, how housing developments are built impact on residents’ carbon footprints

A new quantitative study on the impact of the location of housing development in Johannesburg on carbon emissions – by the research partnership of Divercity Urban Property Fund and the Green Building Council South Africa (GBCSA) – shows that where and how housing is built in the city has a massive effect on its residents’ carbon footprints. Against the backdrop of near-universal recognition of the importance of reducing carbon emissions, the findings of this research are particularly significant, Divercity and the GBCSA note.

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South Africa must build on IIPSA learnings to advance infrastructure development

A number of successes have been achieved following the first round of the Infrastructure Investment Programme for South Africa (IIPSA); however, moving forward, areas that still need work include creating an environment conducive for greater private sector investment and de-risking the space to enable private sector to play its role without fear. This was the general message from speakers during a IIPSA webinar, titled ‘Long-term infrastructure financing in an emerging market’, held by the National Treasury and the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA), on September 30.

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Cabinet shifts South Africa Investment Conference to March 2022

Cabinet has announced that the next South Africa Investment Conference (SAIC) will take place in March next year rather than this year. Three such conferences have been held every year since 2018, with a hybrid physical/virtual event held during 2020, when Covid lockdowns restricted travel and large gatherings.

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Strike threatens nascent recovery under way in metals sector, Seifsa warns

A protracted strike in the metals and engineering sector would severely undermine the nascent recovery under way in the industry following what was a deep Covid-linked slump in 2020, the Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa (Seifsa) warned on Thursday. Speaking at the launch of a report on the sector’s performance during the first half of 2021, CEO Lucio Trentini said the industry was on a “precipice”, after the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) served formal notice on Wednesday afternoon that a strike would begin at 05:00 on October 5.

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Physical retail outlets, online channels needed to serve evolving retail client needs, says Redefine

Although transactions are increasingly moving online, physical outlets remain crucial to effectively serve retail customers, real estate investment trust Redefine Properties national retail asset manager Nashil Chotoki said this week. He told investors during a briefing on September 29 that, to ensure the sustainability of retail properties, there was a need to balance the capacity to serve customers at physical locations against the convenience and choice afforded by online commerce channels and platforms.

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Speakers outline infrastructure procurement challenges

Government has an obligation to address the infrastructure needs of citizens and it achieves this through the procurement of engineering services. However, there are a number of challenges that construction firms or consulting engineering companies face when it comes to procurement in the public sector environment and this threatens the sustainable development of infrastructure in South Africa, as well as the country’s economic growth and must be addressed, Consulting Engineers South Africa Gauteng branch chairperson Gift Mphefu has pointed out.

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‘Just Transition Transaction’ can unlock fiscal space for South Africa’s low-carbon shift

A Just Transition Transaction (JTT) that enables South Africa to secure highly concessional finance from rich countries in return for accelerated decarbonisation would help create the fiscal space required to take such a programme forward, a new Meridian Economics study asserts. Released to coincide with the visit to South Africa of climate envoys from Europe, the UK and the US ahead of the upcoming COP26 gathering in Glasgow, Scotland, the study argues that such a transaction could yield interest savings of R100-billion over 25 years and unlock the R750-billion in investment needed to support the country’s transition from coal to renewables.                          

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