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South African Minister of Energy, Jeff Radebe, will today host a media briefing on the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producers Procurement Programme (REIPPPP).

The objective of the briefing is to provide an update and a way forward on the renewables programme.

Department of Energy director-general Thabane Zulu, told Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Energy this week that the energy programme needs to have a holistic model that is sustainable.

“It’s not just getting people into one room to sign this. It’s a comprehensive programme, with policy dynamics. It has contributed to different views, especially in relation to the financial model,” he told MPs.

“Once Cabinet concerns are taken care of, the process will kick into gear.”

According to the department, the renewable energy auction windows 3.5 and 4 were currently being finalised with the Eskom board. Read more: IPP sector hopes for positive announcement in SA

Job security and industry growth

Media quoted the head of the IPP Office, Karen Breytenbach, who said the delays had “hit us extremely hard”.

“National Treasury told the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) to allow us to continue even if we do not have money. We haven’t hit that point, but the DBSA had offered to pay for our consultants, as well as our operational costs, because they believe the capacity that sits in the IPP Office shouldn't be disappearing.”

The delays in new IPP projects under the REIPPP programme have caused emerging markets to endure much of the impact.

An estimated R58 billion ($4.4 billion) of investment has been stalled – an estimated 13,000 construction jobs have been lost and billions of Rands of local economic development spend foregone. Read more: Renewable energy programme back in business

On the subjec tof job security being at risk, Breytenbach added: “We had the solar water heater programme. Then we didn't; then we got it again. Everything stopped for nine months, and now we are scrambling again.

“We are not thinking about things in terms of our economy, the youth and our people. You cannot run an economy when you stop every time something is happening. This stop-start thing isn’t working. Allow us to continue to do what we have to do.”