Last week, the DoE issued a statement explaining that the Integrated Energy Centre programme is an initiative of the ministry in response to a White Paper on energy policy.
The department noted that the energy policy paper advocates for increased affordable energy services to disadvantaged communities to stimulate economic development by creating an investor friendly climate, and securing energy supply by encouraging diversity of energy supplies and energy carriers.
South Africa part of global village
The energy department also highlighted that this programme is designed to make a significant contribution to job creation, poverty alleviation and rural enterprise development in the country’s remote areas.
To date, there are nine operational centres across four provinces, the energy department stated.
The provinces include the Eastern Cape, Limpopo, KwaZulu-Natal, and Northern Cape, with more reported to be in the pipeline.
South Africa's energy minister, Tina Joemat-Pettersson, commented: “We live in a country which is a part of the global village. Whatever happens in the globe affects us as South Africans. We believe that through the Integrated Energy Centre programme we are contributing to uplifting the socio-economic conditions of our people.
This centre is an enterprise development initiative and I appeal to the co-operative to manage it in a sustainable manner.”
Private sector supports Integrated Energy Centre
The centre was launched in partnership with Shell SA and Feta-Kgomo Greater Tubatse Municipality.
"I am pleased to note that Shell SA has come on board with their first Integrated Energy Centre here in Limpopo, which we know to be among the most energy poor provinces nationally.
Their participation in this commendable programme strengthens the existing relationship between government and the private sector - particularly the energy industry,” the minister said.
Joemat-Pettersson added: “I am pleased to report to the people of Sekhukhune that Shell SA invested ZAR18 million ($1.3 million) in this project. Currently the centre provides employment for 16 local residents of Ngwaabe village.
"This is true empowerment of black South Africans and I call upon more energy companies to invest in the programme as part of the transformation agenda.”