The BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) 2018 summit was held in Johannesburg at the end of July. The summit supported the diversification of its energy mix to reduce its reliance on heavily polluting coal-fired power plants within the country. It launched several bidding rounds for renewable energy deals in recent years, with the latest expected to open later this year. The New Development Bank of BRICS confirmed a $300-million loan to South Africa and would focus on projects which reduce carbon dioxide emissions and boost energy efficiency.
Saudi Arabia will invest at least R 133 billion in South Africa, largely in the energy sector. The country is also already a large investor in South Africa, particularly in the renewable energy segment. The move is part of President Ramaphosa’s drive to attract $100 billion in investment to boost the ailing economy. Total trade in the Energy Sector amounted to just more than R 55 billion last year.
South African motorists, already reeling from petrol price increases, experienced in both May and June 2018, have had to accept another increase of 26 cents in July 2018.
The official petrol price as of July 2018 was at a record high; R 15.80/l for 93 octane, and R 16.02/l for 95 octane and Diesel (0.05% sulphur content) will cost R 14.45/l.
The Environmental Affairs Department confirmed that they are holding public consultations regarding the new National Climate Change Bill which is said to push for big co-operate companies to be punished for their excessive carbon emissions. South Africans have until the end of August 2018 to comment on the draft Climate Change Bill. The Bill aims to ensure that South Africa cuts down on greenhouse gas emissions. In terms of the draft bill, provinces will also be obliged to put in place implementation plans. South Africa remains among the biggest per capita polluters in the world.