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Public Works to release renewable energy RFI for state properties

The Department of Public Works and Infrastructure (DPWI), as the largest landlord and facilities manager in South Africa, is set to release a Request for Information (RFI) for the Integrated Renewable Energy and Resource Efficiency Programme (iREREP). This programme will generate revenue and savings across the DPWI property portfolio.

The DPWI has a responsibility to not only deliver and manage quality infrastructure but to combat climate change and sustainable development through its mandate – such as providing buildings for government service delivery.

With South Africa grappling with loadshedding, water shortages and accelerated effects of climate change, all of which have far reaching consequences on society, the governments response to these challenges must be citizen-centric, focusing on the well-being of the people, protecting the environment, improving citizens’ lives and addressing the injustices of the past.

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When President Cyril Ramaphosa outlined the Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan (ERRP) in October 2020, infrastructure development was identified as a key catalyst in rejuvenating the economy.

In line with the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure’s commitment to delivering quality infrastructure and using resource efficient methods, later this month, on 20 September 2021, the DPWI will be releasing a RFI for the iREREP, for additional ideas and information which comprehensively looks at ways to deliver mutual value through strong partnerships across government and the private sector.

Also known as the Photovoltaic (PV) and Water Savings on Government Buildings Programme, this project was gazetted as a Strategic Integrated Project (SIP) in July 2020 as part of a credible pipeline of projects in the Infrastructure Investment Plan which was approved by Cabinet in May 2020.

The SIPs prioritises infrastructure development in South Africa, as envisaged by the Infrastructure Development Act.

The DPWI property portfolio as the largest property portfolio in the country is responsible for the consumption of a significant amount of electricity and water and generation of a significant amount of waste. Recent studies places annual electricity and water consumption at an estimated 4,021 gigawatt-hours and 39 million kilolitres respectively, with over 822 kilotons of waste generated. This equates to an average annual expenditure on electricity and water of $170 million and $127 million respectively.

What does the iREREP project aim to achieve?

Over the 30 years, the projected savings from the programme include:

  • Savings and revenue worth over $28 billion by 2050, which can be reallocated to other government priorities;
  • Over $17.9 billion direct contribution to the GDP;
  • 3,800 new small businesses will be developed majority being black-owned;
  • Skills development opportunities for more than 117,000 people;
  • An estimated 146,000 jobs created;
  • A reduction in energy use intensity of between 22% and 45%;
  • A water use intensity reduction of between 30% and 55%;
  • A reduction in waste and diversion of 50% of current waste from landfill sites, saving 12m tons;
  • A reduction in CO2 and other GHG emission by over 54.5 megatons

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The programme has received National Treasury approval for Phase 1 and has been registered to be implemented in collaboration with the private sector on a full Design, Finance, Build, Operate, Transfer (DFBOT) basis, allowing the programme to proceed to Phase 2.

The RFI is intended to commence the departmental procurement process that spurs growth, values resilience and low-carbon transition as well as promotes innovation to turn around the economic prosperities of the country.

In line with the DPWI Green Building Policy, which consolidates the various legislation and policies to meet South Africa’s sustainability target, the DPWI has translated these targets, which we will implement through the Department’s Integrated Renewable Energy and Resource Efficiency Programme (iREREP).

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The next phase will involve the issuance of requests for proposals expected later this year.

This programme presents a unique opportunity to harness the partnership between government and business to create a prosperous South Africa.

This is an opportunity for large scale innovation in government that not only promotes resource efficiency and saves money but it is a major effort to protect the planet against the devastating effects of climate change.

Government, businesses and residents all need to step up and look for more ways to save water, reduce energy consumption and carbon emissions because it is our duty to ensure we take care of the planet now for future generations.

Nomvuyo Tena
Nomvuyo Tena is a Content Producer at Clarion Events Africa and is as passionate about the energy transition in Africa as she is about music and Beyonce.