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The South African wind industry association, SAWEA, has expressed support of President Ramaphosa’s decision to appoint Minister Gwede Mantashe to take over the energy portfolio.

The South African Wind Energy Association (SAWEA) has issued a statement of support, in response to President Ramaphosa’s unveiling of the national executive of the country’s sixth administration, which sees Cabinet-veteran, Minister Gwede Mantashe, take over the Energy portfolio from Jeff Radebe.

This change comes at a time when the South African government has reiterated its commitment to clean energy with President Cyril Ramaphosa and the previous Energy Minister Jeff Radebe demonstrating that wind power is firmly part of the country’s energy future, with the conclusion of duly procured power purchase agreements in April last year. Read more: S.Africa: Minister Gwede Mantashe takes reins over Mineral Resources and Energy

While the country’s energy mix transitions away from a dependence on coal to renewable energy, SAWEA believes that Minister Mantashe, with his solid history in the labour sector, can help smooth the process.

“We look to the new Energy Minister to take the lead in the energy transition to help ensure it is just and sustainable, with a focus on building a better energy system for the country, where the wind power sector can play a prominent role,” said Mercia Grimbeek, Chair of SAWEA. 

SAWEA reiterates that the wind energy sector takes its responsibility to ensure that it impacts local communities seriously, as evident in its Commitment Statement, and it will continue to go over and above compliance and demonstrate a significant measure of good faith.

The industry association also extended its gratitude to the previous Energy Minister for bringing stability to the sector.

“Whilst South Africa faces deep economic and social challenges we believe Minister Mantashe can help us work together with the various parties in the energy space, to increase dialogue and lead a smoother, more beneficial transition for the country at large,” concluded Grimbeek.