Reflecting on the current energy crisis, he said the province will be seeking ways to mitigate its impact, especially for small businesses which have buckled under the pressure of the rolling power cuts.
“The province has developed a renewable energy strategy that focuses on rooftop solar PV installation. The strategy seeks to address the limited participation of small, medium and micro-scale enterprises in the renewable energy value chain.
“The objective is to assist the SMMEs in entering into power purchase agreements with the government and private sector to acquire loan funding from banks to procure the PV systems. Fifty-one SMMEs have received the PV Green Card training. The Northern Cape Solar Energy Business Incubator (NOCSOBI) was also established and we will launch it in April 2023,” Saul said.
Turning to infrastructure development and investment, the premier said the provincial government will be spending some R9bn on various projects. These will be focused on building schools, health facilities, roads, housing, energy, and water and sanitation infrastructure.
“Infrastructure investment is the backbone of a thriving economy. Through the implementation of an integrated infrastructure growth path, the province will be able to improve the socioeconomic conditions of the residents of the Northern Cape,” he said.
Saul said road infrastructure will also receive attention.
“Despite lack of a sufficient budget to service our provincial roads, we are committed to increase access to affordable and reliable transport infrastructure. The province also transferred 16 roads over to Sanral on 2 November 2022. This will help the province focus on roads which are used mainly by local motorists.
“A pivotal development related to the latter is the fact that Sanral will also be opening an office here in the Northern Cape; this will help to strengthen focus on our roads which are critical to the success of our provincial and the national economy,” he said.
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