The joint Meeting of SADC Ministers Responsible for Energy, and Water was held at Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg, South Africa on 27th June 2018.
The main objectives of the meeting were, among others, to: (i) review progress in the implementation of the decisions of Ministers at their last meetings; (ii) consider Progress in the implementation of the energy and water Programmes and Projects; and (iii) deliberate on and give guidance on the security of Energy and Water supply to ensure food security and economic and industrial development in the SADC Region as per the request of the current Chairperson of the Summit.
Emerging issues in the Energy sector such as the promotion of natural gas and its contribution in the regional energy mix also formed part of the discussions. The meeting also discussed the signing of Intergovernmental Memoranda of Understanding (IGMOUs) for regional interconnector projects that are important for enhancing regional integration.
The outcomes of the discussions will be presented to the coming Council and Summit meetings to inform and contribute to the current Summit theme of “Partnering with the Private Sector in Developing Industry and Regional Value Chains”.
The Secretariat presented progress that has been registered in the implementation of specific interventions in both Energy and Water.
The meeting was opened by the Minister of Energy, of the Republic of South Africa, Honourable Mr. Jeff Radebe. Hon, Radebe stressed on the importance of Water and Energy as critical resources that are reciprocally and mutually linked. He further stated that in the Region, both energy and water are strategic resources that are fundamental to the economic development, industrialisation and creation of the much needed jobs in a region characterised by high levels of unemployment especially among the youth. He further urged SADC Member States to intensify efforts to stimulate national energy efficiency planning and to provide strong technical support across the value chain, especially in rolling out various energy efficiency programmes.
Delivering his remarks SADC DES RI Opening Remarks, 27 June 2018 on behalf of SADC Executive Secretary, the Deputy Executive Secretary for Regional Integration, Dr. Thembinkosi Mhlongo stated that SADC has just completed the Short Term Action Plan implementation of the Regional Infrastructure Development Master Plan (RIDMP).
Dr. Mhlongo recalled some of the very strategic and important regional development imperatives, such as the Regional Industrialisation Strategy and its Road Map, the Regional Agricultural Policy with its associated Regional Agricultural Investment Plan, that were adopted in the last few years, to which the Water and Energy sectors in particular need to contribute meaningfully to ensure the success of these initiatives.
He further promoted the Water-Energy-Food Security Nexus as an approach that promises to address these important considerations. “This approach will avoid to face the situation that the Region went through in the past with the drought that resulted in a food security crisis”, he added.
Ministers held a workshop on 26th June 2018 on Regional Gas Infrastructure and Market Development, in the margins of this meeting, and deliberated on several issues related to gas exploitation in the Region. The workshop provided a perspective on the potential of gas in the Region.
Ministers signed a statement of intent on cooperation in the development of regional gas market and infrastructure in which they among others, reaffirm their shared commitment to:
- improve access to reliable, affordable and safe energy to alleviate poverty, encourage economic development and improve quality of life in the SADC region and;
- establish a Region wide gas master plan in line with the principles of the Energy Protocol, as well as the overarching objectives of SADC Industrialization Strategy Framework.
The meeting was attended by Angola, Botswana, Kingdom of ESwatini Kingdom of Lesotho, Malawi, Madagascar, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
The Minister of Energy, of the Republic of South Africa, Honourable Mr. Jeff Radebea signing a statement of intent on cooperation in the development of regional gas market and infrastructure on 26th Jume
Ministers at the workshop on Regional Gas Infrastructure and Market Development