South Africa, who have faced intermittent blackouts since the year 2003 due to mismanagement within their main electricity supplier, Eskom, turns to developed countries such as Denmark and The Netherlands to aid in reaching greener power alternatives for the continent of Africa as a pre-emptive measure to mitigate the effects of climate change.
Learning without light: students of the University of Cape Town, South Africa sit in a dark lecture theatre in preparation for a lecture without electricity.
Image: Maxine Boltman
South Africa calls on the Netherlands and Denmark for aid
In July of 2023, at the Denmark-Netherlands-South Africa Business Forum in South Africa, it was made clear that a partnership had emerged between the three countries with the hope of helping South Africa find its feet in the Hydrogen Economy. This partnership may allow for the country to begin to diversify its energy supply, a necessary step which the country is long overdue to take.
Cyril Ramaphosa, president of South Africa stressed this in his address of Denmark and the Netherlands’ prime ministers:
“Renewable energy forms an increasingly important part of our energy mix and is vital to both the achievement of a just transition and greater energy security. We hope to benefit from closer cooperation with your countries in this regard.”
A further nudge for developed nations to look to Africa
At the Climate Ambition Summit in New York on Wednesday, President Ramaphosa furthered this urge for developed countries to focus on Africa in their consideration of the future damage that climate change will cause.
“African leaders have called on the international community to support efforts to massively increase Africa’s renewable energy capacity by 2030. They are seeking investment in smart, digital and efficient green technologies to decarbonise the transport, industrial and electricity sectors in African countries,” he said.
This investment is crucial to the continent of Africa given that it’s population will suffer the worst effects of climate change due to the continent’s positioning and number of third world or developing nations that already struggle with food security and over-population.
If South Africa were to achieve this investment, the country would be able to lower its reliance on Eskom as their border-line sole energy provider. This provides hope for an end to loadshedding, as well possibility for energy-infrastructure that will create less carbon emissions.