A special focus on unemployment during the 29th provincial Freedom Day commemoration was that is a ticking time bomb.
As a result, during her official address, Premier Refilwe Mtshweni-Tsipane told the people of Mpumalanga thus: “We are determined to confront it, through the creation of sustainable employment opportunities. “We have set for ourselves a target of creating at least 90 000 youth job opportunities within the next 15 months. These opportunities will come from 21 empowerment programmes across sector departments in the Provincial Government. “We urge the private sector to join our efforts to massify employment opportunities in the province. Working together with Municipalities, we are determined to achieve the target of sustainable and dignified employment opportunities. “Another untapped area which has the potential to be a game changer in the Province is the just energy transition. Mpumalanga has 12 power stations and we’re rightly referred to as the power base for electricity supply in the country as 80 percent comes from this province.
“We are also mindful of the fact that Mpumalanga produces the highest carbon emissions the country. The impact of these carbon emissions is catastrophic, not only to the environment, but also to the overall health of our people. “This is why we are advocating for the Just Energy Transition in order to balance economic activities in our province with the urgency to transition to a low-carbon economy. His Excellency, President Cyril Ramaphosa defined the just energy transition as: “A transition from fossil fuels to green energy in a manner that will prioritise workers and communities in vulnerable industries to ensure that no one is left behind.”
“Just energy transition must not be misconstrued as the closure of coal-based power generation. It is the utilisation of coal energy generation whilst investing significantly in the development of green and sustainable energy. Along with an incredible inheritance of mineral resources, our province also has extremely rich solar and wind resources. “Technology has evolved. Therefore it is now becoming possible to convert these wind and solar resources into sources of clean energy and value for the Province.
Our priority is for the Province to continue to be the centre of energy generation in the country, whilst making our economy receptive to employing young people and to enable the youth to create their own jobs through the installation of solar panels in our households, and in the malls. “They must coordinate training opportunities for entrepreneurs, that will venture into the energy space,” she said