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“African nations, being used as test subjects for energy experiments”

The minister of mineral resources and energy, Gwede Mantashe, asserted that by providing financing for energy transition, developed economies were using African economies as “guinea pigs” in their energy experiments.

The minister’s earlier keynote addresses to the Africa Oil Week and the 2022 Windaba, in which he criticized developed economies for trying to impose their ideas on how African countries should make the transition to a more energy-efficient system, came before this one, according to News24.

Mantashe informed the delegates that advanced economies were attempting to impose energy solutions on African countries, despite the fact that the continent of Africa had over a billion people and contributed less than 5% of global emissions.

Mantashe delivered a speech at the Africa Energy Week on Tuesday in the afternoon in Cape Town. The speech was given ahead of a crucial COP27 gathering in Egypt in November, where SA is expected to present the strategy for the $8.5 billion in grants and concessional loans promised at COP26 the previous year to help South Africa decarbonize its economy, according to News24.

READ MORE: Mantashe says SA needs nuclear and renewables

“Developed countries occasionally want to experiment with new concepts on our unique nations. It hurts, I must say, because when that happens, you find yourself encircled. According to Mantashe, a smaller economy forces you to act as a conduit for other people’s ideas, which prevents you from being able to think or be creative.

Mantashe asserted that although South Africa signed the agreement for the $8.5 billion with the expectation that grants would provide the majority of the funding, the bulk of the money actually came from a variety of loans.

“We have this partnership between South Africa, the EU, and various other countries, worth R8.5 billion [sic]. We thought that was a gift because it was impressive. It is not a gift. Mantashe claims that it is a loan, with a small portion being a grant and the remainder being a loan with favorable terms.

He asserted that the terms of this funding, which required a shift away from coal power, were unfavorable for South Africa because the country made billions of dollars from the coal industry and the European Union was considering developing coal power as a result of Russia restricting their access to gas after beginning a military campaign in Ukraine.

“It was first delivered to us for R131 billion. The coal industry was the next topic of discussion because it is a crucial component of this program and one of its main industries. We also discovered that in 2021, the coal industry generated R130 billion in revenue.

This meant SA was told to “leave coal” for an R1 billion difference, according to “our arithmetic mind.”

It cannot be logical. And when you say that, you might occasionally sound like a rebel in the government. You may be in favor of funding, but it must be relevant to our program, he said.

Mantashe expressed worry that the nation’s accomplishments in increasing access to electricity, to the point where 87% of the country is now electrified in some way, might be lost in the frustration of South Africans over the return of load shedding at Stage 4 on Tuesday morning.

“I’ll admit that, until I graduated from high school, I had never used electricity in my home. I didn’t notice it. By putting a tin and twine inside, lighting the lamp, and reading, I was using lampies. We grew up in that manner. “We all.” Once you have access to electricity, you immediately notice a difference in how comfortably you can live. People become irate over load shedding as a result.

Energy poverty is a problem in Africa that has persisted for so long that we frequently forget it is an anomaly. Africa must act now; this anomaly must be corrected. He asserted that to change this abnormality, more commitment is required than ever.

Eleni Giokos, a seasoned journalist who moderated the event, was referred to by Mantashe as saying: “Eleni (Giokos) was talking about Emalahleni. After all, she was born there. In ten towns in Mpumalanga, there is ongoing coal mining, I told her. Total: ten. If you are from South Africa or intend to travel there, check Belfast, Ermelo, Hendrina, Ogies, Middelburg, Emalahleni, Leandra, Kriel, and Delmas. Because all of those towns are a part of one continuous mining region, the communities there are not taken into consideration if you simply stop using coal.

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