Dr Akinwumi Adesina, President of the African Development Bank and H.E. Gwede Mantashe, Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy, South Africa. Image from AfDB Flickr

The President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), Dr Akinwumi Adesina, has indicated that the multilateral finance institution is fully committed to South Africa’s energy transition, also announcing the development of a just energy transition facility, to help secure further financing for the southern African country’s transition together with the commitment of $2.8 billion over the next five years to support the national drive towards achieving net zero emissions.

Adesina met with South Africa’s Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy, H.E. Gwede Mantashe in the southern African country’s capital, Pretoria, on 24 March, where they discussed a range of opportunities for South Africa to transition towards renewables.

According to estimates by the AfDB, South Africa would need approximately $30 billion for the complete transition away from fossil fuels towards renewable energy, with Dr Adesina reporting that the AfDB is prepared to mobilize $400 million for Eskom– South Africa’s national utility – to transition to renewables. In addition, the finance institution is supporting the development of several public and private solar and wind project in the country, including the 100 MW Sere Wind Power Plant (Western Cape province), the 100 MW Xina Solar Power Concentrated Power Plant (Northern Cape province) and the 100 MW Redstone Solar Project (Northern Cape).

“South Africa cannot and should not embark on the journey of energy transition without the necessary financial support,” Dr Adesina stated, adding that, “South Africa can leverage on the $8.5 billion in grants from the G7 countries to ensure adequate financing for its just energy transition without going into debt.”

Dr Adesina added that the AfDB is also working in partnership with international partners to raise at least $27 billion to support South Africa’s energy transition, suggesting that this investment would transform the country into a global leader in the energy transition, serving as prime opportunity to improve the economy and generate thousands of green jobs and power new green industries.

South Africa’s Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy, H.E. Gwede Mantashe, reiterated the government’s commitment to achieving a 15% reduction in coal power production and an 18% increase in renewables by 2030, outlining that, “…we want to move from high carbon to low carbon emissions. The Just Energy Transition plan should be about people’s lives and livelihoods, particularly in coal mining areas. We must develop a concrete alternative economic program for communities in those areas.”