South Africa’s efforts to reduce its reliance on coal to produce its electricity have received a €600-million boost from France and Germany to kick start the journey to cleaner energy sources, the Ministry of Finance confirmed on Thursday.
President Cyril Ramaphosa’s attendance at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP27) this week saw him witness the signing of the multimillion-euro concessional loan from France and Germany for his country, which the two countries have divided into two equal parts of €300 million each.
French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz joined Ramaphosa to witness the loan signing ceremony at the COP27 gathering currently taking place in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt.
Treasury said the signing represented a significant milestone in the implementation of the Just Energy Transition Partnership (JETP) first announced at COP26 in November last year.
“The JETP is a long-term partnership between South Africa, France, Germany, the United Kingdom, United States, and the European Union,” the ministry explained.
It added: “The first initiative of its kind, the JETP aspires to support South Africa in accelerating its journey to a low-carbon economy and climate-resilient society.”
Last year the founding partners of the JETP pledged to mobilise an initial amount of US$8.5 billion over the next five years to advance the partnership with South Africa.
The French and German public development banks, AFD and KfW, have provided the loans directly to the South African government via National Treasury, according to treasury.