On Wednesday, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa announced the shuffling and shedding of Cabinet where Minister Gwede Mantashe was appointed as Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy.

Having to now wear two ‘hats’, Mantashe will be replacing former Minister Jeff Radebe, who has not been reappointment in Cabinet. The President has reduced Cabinet from 36 ministers to 28.

Welcoming this news is the South African Photovoltaic Industry Association (SAPVIA) who said this announcement comes at a crucial time in the energy space with growing calls from citizens for policy certainty and direction that will meet South Africa’s growing energy demands.

“The mineral resource and energy sectors have been at the core of our gross domestic product (GDP) contribution for some time. A continued commitment by government to stimulate the growth of renewable energy will, therefore, provide the competitive edge our country needs to attract foreign direct investment and create jobs,” the PV association said in a statement.

Adding that “procurement of renewable energy in South Africa has also yielded positive results. Well over 62 projects that were installed and successfully commissioned under the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Programme (REIPPPP) have added 3,776MW of power generation capacity to the national grid with R20,6 billion spent on socio-economic development.

“The sector also consists of small-scale power generators of 1-10MW that play a significant role in supplementing energy supply from the national grid by providing mini-grid services both in metropolitan and rural communities where power distribution is a challenge.”