South Africa has started a fund to help the government fast-track electricity-generation projects needed to end a crippling energy crisis.
The Energy One Stop Shop and Resilience Fund will aim to streamline regulatory processes needed for private investment in electricity production and help accelerate the approval of projects, said Trade, Industry and Competition Minister Ebrahim Patel at a virtual launch on July 27.
The Energy One-Stop Shop will start with dedicated personnel, a website, a registration portal for energy projects, and a mapped process showing where a project is in the approval process. The Energy Resilience Fund will mitigate the impact of the energy crisis.
South Africa has been facing blackouts, or load-shedding, since 2008 because the state power utility’s old coal-fired plants that supply more than 80 percent of the nation’s electricity regularly break down.
The Industrial Development Corp., the National Empowerment Fund and the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition have set aside funds to assist companies with energy-related challenges, and have so far approved disbursements of 294 million rand ($16 million), the department said. The Presidency is exploring ways to simplify these processes to address blockages, said Patel.