Economy/02 June 2023,12:34pm/ Staff Writer
Free State Destea MEC Thabo Meeko, addressing Kopanong Municipality community: Image supplied
By Staff Writer: Free State Economic Development MEC Thabo Meeko, has announced that plans by Free State Provincial Government to attract both foreign and local investors to invest in renewable energy projects, especially in solar PV projects, to address the energy crises and combat the devastating load-shedding are underway.
Addressing Kopanong Local Municipality SMMEs and other stakeholders which include councillors and other social partners at the packed Jaggerforntein Library Hall , MEC Meeko said negotiations between provincial government and potential investors are at advance stage to encourage them to partner with government to address eletricity challenges currently besetting the country.
MEC Meeko said negotiations also include establishing an Agroprocessing project in Jaggersfontein.
Kopanong LM is endowed with abundance of land and sunlight, making it an ideal location for such projects.
Said MEC Meeko: “Our view is that these investments will go a long way in unlocking economic and business opportunities for the local SMMES.
It will also create much-needed jobs , alleviate poverty, and address various social ills in Kopanong Local Municipality”.
DESTEA and Kopanong Local Municipality will, in due course, sign the Memorandum of Understanding to stimulate economic development.
“The MoU also seeks to create mutual understanding on how, together with the municipality, we recalibrate the tourism sector in Kopanong Municipality,” MEC Meeko said.
He said tourist destinations such as Xhariep Dam – one of the biggest dams in the country – need to be supported.
He said there is a need to educate people, including learners, on opportunities around the recycling economy.
He conceded that the province is faced with economic challenges emanating from small fiscus allocation, low levels of revenue generation, low economic activities, low purchasing power, high level of unemployment, and poverty.
Meanwhile a follow-up meeting will be held next week, Wednesday, 07 June 2023.