Ndza khensa muxiximeki Mutshamaxitulu eka nhlengeletano ya siku ra namuntlha. Eka Holobye wa Ndzawulo ya swa Eneji na Xandla xa yena, swirho hinkwaswo ku katsa na Vaholobye lava koteke ku va kona eka siku ra namuntlha, ndzi rhandza ku mi xeweta. (Translation of Xitsonga paragraph follows.)
[Mr R T MAVUNDA: Thank you hon Chairperson for today's meeting. To the Minister of Energy and her Deputy, all the members including the Ministers who have been able to attend today, I would like to salute you.]
Ndi matsheloni. [Good morning.] Hon Chairperson, it gives me great pleasure to address this august House on an important occasion such as this where we debate the energy budget, which the ANC supports.
Hon members will recall that in 2007, at the ANC's 52nd national conference held at Polokwane, the ANC, among other things, resolved to pursue a programme of economic transformation based on the following pillars: ensuring security of supply of energy sources; and pursuing an energy mix that includes clean and renewable sources to meet the demands of our fast- growing economy.
The ANC took up a leading role in global debates on environmental justice, including participating in the Rio Earth Summit and the 2002 South African- hosted World Summit on Sustainable Development. At these historic forums, the environmental dimensions of the development challenges facing Africa and the countries of the South were debated.
Driven by its sustainable development orientation, the ANC will continue to ensure that the South African economy benefits from the global potential of the renewable energy sector. It will do so through the provision of incentives for investment in renewable energy infrastructure and in human resources energy to ensure that institutions and companies are ready to take full advantage of renewable energy opportunities. Moreover, it will promote the realignment of institutional mechanisms which will fast-track the utilisation of renewable energy so as to mitigate climate change effects.
Hon Minister, it is therefore not unexpected that the ANC's manifesto enjoins the ANC-led government to ensure that solar and wind power feed into the electricity grid to increase South Africa's generation capacity and promote environmental sustainability.
Further to that, the government is obligated to install solar water geysers in 1,3 million homes. The call is therefore made to the department as the implementing organ of state to promote and fulfil the manifesto commitments by enhancing South Africa's energy mix in general and, in particular, by installing solar water heaters.
The Constitution requires government to ensure that national energy resources are adequately tapped and delivered to cater for the needs of the nation and that the production and distribution of energy be sustainable and lead to an improvement in the standard of living of citizens.
Renewable energy that is produced from sustainable natural sources will contribute to sustainable development. It is apt to note, amongst others, that South Africa experiences some of the highest levels of solar radiation in the world. This radiation is available to meet most energy requirements in South Africa.
South Africa recognises that the emission of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide from the use of fossil fuels such as coal and petroleum products has led to increasing concerns about global climate change. Given increased opportunities for energy trade, particularly with the Southern African region, government is committed to pursue energy security by encouraging diversity of both supply sources and primary energy carriers. As most are indigenous and naturally available, security of energy supply is thus improved and not disrupted by short-term international crises, as often occurs in relation to petroleum sources.
In my remaining available time, I would like to add to the understanding of some of the members here. The department has established integrated energy centres, IECs, at Ulundi and Mbizana. At these centres members of the community are able to benefit through community projects. These IECs provide access ... The ANC supports the Budget Vote. Thank you. [Time expired.] [Applause.]