Pretoria: Cabinet has approved the draft treaty between South Africa and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) for the development of the Grand Inga Project, says Cabinet spokesperson Jimmy Manyi.
At a briefing in Pretoria on Wednesday, Manyi said the project had the potential to supply clean and cost effective hydroelectric power to meet the needs of the DRC and surrounding or nearby countries, including South Africa.
“This project entails the development of approximately 40 000MW of hydropower on the Congo River in the DRC which may be developed in several stand-alone phases,” he explained.
The purpose of the treaty was to develop an enabling framework, linking the DRC and South Africa into the Grand Inga Project, and allowing for the two countries to jointly explore different economically feasible options for the development of the project.
Manyi said the two countries should also engage and source support for the project from other countries in the continent especially those in the Southern African Development Community (SADC).
“The project will form part of South Africa’s government strategy to promote renewable energy in the region, contribute to a reduction of carbon emissions, ensure security of supply and to develop energy infrastructure on the continent and the SADC region in particular.”
On Tuesday, the Department of Energy’s Deputy Director General: Chief Operations Officer, Thandeka Zungu, said after receiving approval from Cabinet, the treaty would go to the DRC.
She said the upon the project’s successful completion, the envisaged hydropower project had a potential to change the African energy sector and would increase Africa generation capacity.
This would enhance energy access to clean and efficient energy across the continent and contribute significantly towards a low carbon economy and economic development.