Weekly Presidential Spokesperson media briefing statement and programme update
President Cyril Ramaphosa will travel to Bali, Indonesia to participate at the G20 Leaders’ Summit from 15-16 November 2022. The Ministers of International Relations and Cooperation and Finance will accompany the President.
The G20 Leaders’ Summit will discuss strategic issues and the role of the G20 as part of the solution to a wide range of global challenges including amongst others addressing food and energy insecurity, strengthening the global health architecture and advancing digital transformation.
The President will address two working sessions. The first session will focus on the food and energy security. In his input, President Ramaphosa will call for susbstantial financial support for countries with developing economies that are most affected by food shortages and the effects of climate change. In this regard, South Africa will support that addressing food insecurity challenges must be a top G20 priority.
On Energy South Africa’s strategic objectives at the G20 will be to:
• To advance practical cooperation in terms of the G20 Voluntary Collaboration on Energy Access with a continuous focus on Sub-Saharan Africa;
• Ensure that the discussion on Clean Energy takes into account all forms of clean energy such as clean coal technology and nuclear to ensure affordable, reliable and sustainable energy; this is important in the context of the existing South African energy mix policy;
• To guard against onerous commitments placed on developing countries regarding the phasing out of fossil fuels, which may negatively affect the poor
During the second working session, which will focus on Health, President Ramaphosa will emphasize the urgent need to strengthen the Global Health Architecture that will respond quickly and effectively to the next pandemic. The President will call for a permanent global coordination and governance mechanism that will enable collaboration, priority setting, pooling of resources, technology transfer and the research and development of medical countermeasures.
Both the above-mentioned working sessions will take place on Tuesday 15 November 2022.
For planning purposes, the media will need to look out for the Presidency advisories on the exact times President Ramaphosa will address the two plenary sessions.
As customary, President Ramaphosa will also hold several bilateral meetings, amongst which will include China and other key trade partners. We will also confirm the bilaterals program through advisories that we will issue during the course of the summit.
Taking Parliament to the People: Port Shepstone (Ugu District) KZN
On 18 November 2022, President Ramaphosa will deliver an address to the NCOP Taking Parliament to the People session to take place in Port Shepstone in the Ugu District of the province of KwaZulu-Natal. The President’s speech will focus on “Building agile state capabilities to improve service delivery outcomes”. The President will speak to broader systemic reforms currently underway. A key element of this endeavor is the National Framework towards the Implementation of Professionalisation of the Public Sector, which was adopted by Cabinet on 19 October 2022. The Framework makes specific proposals to stabilise the political-administrative interface, ensure merit-based recruitment and selection and more effective consequence management. In this regard, all public sector legislation governing professionalisation will be reviewed and where necessary amended to align with this framework.
The Just Energy Transition and the funding the Just Energy Transition Investment Plan
South Africa needs to contribute to the reduction of global carbon emissions if we are to limit global warming and prevent the worsening effects of climate change. South Africa’s exports need to remain competitive in a global economy where goods from countries with high carbon emissions will soon attract high tariffs. Unless we reduce our emissions, many of the goods we seek to export will find key markets closed to them. Thus, South Africa’s economy will struggle to grow and create jobs.
We need to access finance for infrastructure development and industrialisation when more and more banks are not investing in high emission industries. Our companies will struggle to get financing for infrastructure, factories and other projects.
Therefore, a just transition is needed to ensure that the shift to a low-carbon economy does not negatively affect workers, communities and broader society. For example, new jobs and opportunities need to be created for workers in the old power stations that are being decommissioned and those in the coal mines that supply them. They need to be skilled and reskilled to take up positions in new industries.
Affected communities need to benefit from the building of new renewable energy plants and new industries that produce materials for renewable energy, electric vehicles, green hydrogen and mining for minerals needed in the new economy. Community members should be able to participate directly in these industries and indirectly through the businesses that will support new economic activity.
Government has produced a Just Energy Transition Investment Plan that calculates that South Africa will need around R1.5 trillion over the next five years to meet these goals.
This money will need to come from various sources, including the funding that industrialised countries have promised to developing countries and from commercial financial institutions.
At the UN Climate Change Summit last year, France, Germany, UK, US and the European Union pledged around R140 billion to support the just transition. An initial amount of R10.7 billion has been received in low-interest loans from Germany and France.
While South Africa welcomes low-interest (or concessional) loans, a substantial portion of this funding needs to be in the form of grants.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of The Presidency: Republic of South Africa.