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Minister Barbara Creecy: Launch of Northern Cape Green Hydrogen Strategy and Sasol as anchor investor

8 Nov 2021

Remarks by Minister Creecy during the launch of the Northern Cape Green Hydrogen Strategy and Sasol as anchor investor at COP 26

Ms Nomatemba Tambo, High Commissioner to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Northern Cape MEC for Agriculture, Environmental Affairs, Rural Development and Land Reform, MEC Manopole
National Assembly House Chairperson, Hon Frolick
NCOP House Chairperson, Hon Nyambi
Portfolio Committee Chairperson, Hon Muthambi
Select Committee Chairperson Hon Modise
Mr Fleetwood Grobler, President and CEO of Sasol
Ladies and gentlemen

Thank you for inviting me to join today as you launch this exciting development for the Northern Cape.

Ladies and gentlemen, his Excellency President Cyril Ramaphosa announced the Northern Cape Green Hydrogen Strategy, with the anchor investment by SASOL at the South African Strategic Infrastructure Development Symposium on the 7th of October 2021. This follows the decision by Cabinet on the 14th of September 2021, to approve the extension for the next 10 years of the South African Hydrogen Society Roadmap (HSRM).

The new roadmap builds on what has been achieved in the past 10 years, and moves us from research and development to manufacturing and commercialisation.

Local manufacturing of hydrogen products and components will contribute towards job creation and skills development and enhance economic transformation that will benefit the previously marginalised sectors of society, particularly women and youth, especially in a province, like the Northern Cape, which is one of the poorest in terms of demographics in South Africa.

As we have heard this afternoon, the intention is to have a dedicated green grid, electrolizer park and green hydrogen related Special Economic Zone to manufacture green hydrogen industry related goods and services in the Northern Cape.

We are particularly excited by this development which aligns with the DFFE’s declaration of the expanded western Strategic Energy Corridor in the Northern Cape. Over the past few years, our department undertook Strategic Environmental Assessments to identify among others renewable energy development zones (REDZ) and strategic energy corridors, in which large scale grid infrastructure expansion could be incentivised.

This was done to proactivity identify environmental sensitivities and assist in orientating infrastructure development away from areas of high environmental sensitivity, allowing for a streamlined environmental authorisation process which speeds up development while maintaining the highest environmental protection.

Through this process we have heeded the call from the His Excellency President Ramaphosa to cut red tape and to halve the authorisation timeframe for transmission scale electricity grid infrastructure and reduce the timeframe for electricity grid development from 7 to 3 years by allowing a pre-negotiated route to be submitted for authorisation which significantly simplified the servitude negotiation process.

Accordingly, we are committed to supporting this very important initiative for the country and through the DFFE we look forward to working closely with the Northern Cape Department of Agriculture, Environmental Affairs, Rural Development and Land Reform to make it a reality.

I thank you.

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