Public Works and Infrastructure Minister, Patricia de Lille, has announced the opening of the Request for Information (RFI) process for the Photovoltaic and Water Savings on Government Buildings Programme.
The programme aims to save government billions of Rands in water and electricity consumption costs through the procurement and use of renewable energy and resource efficient measures for public buildings.
“This programme will be largest… for the procurement of renewable energy and resource efficiency for public facilities.
“The RFI is aimed at testing the market for additional ideas and information which comprehensively looks at ways to deliver mutual values to through strong partnerships between government and the private sector,” she said.
The request for information process will also allow the department to obtain a high-level understanding of optimal technical solutions that are available in the market in relation to the capacity of private sector to deliver such solutions.
Minister de Lille said with this programme, government aims to be a “champion for innovation and new technologies” while expanding government’s energy use mix.
The programme is part of government’s infrastructure investment plan and is expected to involve national, provincial and local government buildings across the country for the next 30 years.
The Minister said the first phase of the programme has received approval from the National Treasury with the private sector responsible for “both the technical and financial aspects of implementing the programme”.
“To help spur on South Africa’s private sector investment, government is also currently engaging with a number of local and international partners on various funding mechanisms that will be identified as potentially catalytic,” she said.
According to the Minister, the projected benefits of the outcome will be:
Savings and revenue worth over R401 billion by 2050
Over R253 billion direct contribution to the GDP
3 800 new small businesses will be developed, the majority being black-owned
Skills development opportunities for more than 117 000 people
An estimated 146 000 jobs created
A reduction in energy use of between 22% and 45%
A water use reduction of between 30% and 55%
A reduction in waste and diversion of 50% of current waste from landfill sites, saving 12m tons
A reduction in carbon and other greenhouse gas emissions by over 54.5 megatons
“We are very excited about the possibilities presented by [the request for information] phase in our quest to scale up innovation in government. The programme is also an example of putting the Infrastructure Investment Plan in action and contributes to our goals of achieving the reconstruction and recovery plan to the revival of our own economy,” she said.
Source: South African Government News Agency