MTN’s two megawatt tri-generator power plant

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Keynote address by the Deputy Minister of Communications, Dina Pule at the unveiling of MTN’s two megawatt tri-generator power plant, MTN headquarters, Fairland, Roodepoort

2 Aug 2010
Programme director
Mr Phuthuma Nhleko, MTN Chief Executive Officer and Group President
Mr Karel Pienaar, MTN Managing Director
Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA)
representative present
MTN executive team
Members of environmental bodies and analysts present
Members of the media and
Ladies and gentlemen

I am very happy to join you this morning for the unveiling of the MTN’s two megawatt tri-generator power plant. One of the most alarming situations in today’s world is the resource depletion.

Natural resources are the life blood of a nation. It is therefore encouraging to note that MTN is responding positively to the government’s call for the promotion of alternative energy sources because of their clean or total lack of emissions. I am sure that your choice of the renewable resource will contribute towards alternative energy usage.

Programme director,

In 2005, our government launched the energy efficiency strategy to encourage sustainable energy sector development and energy use through efficient practices.

It is important to minimise the undesirable impacts of non renewable energy usage upon health and environment. We need to ensure that we sustain our environment by reducing environmental degradation.

Ladies and gentleman,

We must make alternative energy our business. The decision taken by MTN to diversify its energy supply source will further assure business sustainability and movement away from the use of fossil fuels.

There will thus be less dependency on the already overstretched ESKOM power grid. I am mindful of the fact that our electricity infrastructure requires upgrades in some parts of our country, to an extent that reliability on current outmoded forms of energy is no longer an option.

It is recognised that renewable energy technologies are clean sources of energy that have a much lower environmental impact than conventional energy technologies.

Programme director, ladies and gentleman,

I am informed that companies which generate energy onsite, also sell excess renewable energy to a third party, indicate that they are most likely to expand use in the coming years.

Companies currently not using renewable energy indicate that they are more likely to start investing in alternative energy within the next five years. You have now set precedence.

It therefore makes good business sense to invest in what MTN has done because it provides for an alternative source of income generation whilst contributing to the enhancement of our fragile planet.

Let me also remind you that 2010 is a year of action! Innovation must continue to play an important role. The call made by our state President, His Excellency Jacob Zuma during the 2010 State of the Nation Address speech where he said, quote: “As South Africa, we have voluntarily committed ourselves to specific emission reduction targets, and will continue working on our long-term climate change mitigation strategy. Government will ensure that our environmental assets and natural resources are well protected, and are continually enhanced”.

The Department of Communications would like to see more investment by the information and communications technology (ICT) sector in the areas of research and development. These areas include positioning environmental friendly technologies into all sectors of our economy.

The starting point would be as regards to everyday commonly used technology such as cellular phones, computers, base stations, etc. This will contribute towards my department strategic objective of the promotion of green technologies.

Ladies and gentleman,

We are all aware that alternative energy will reduce negative environmental impact and because it is one of the most cost effective methods of reducing greenhouse gas emission. It has been demonstrated that one of the most cost-effective ways of maximising commercial profitability is the adoption of appropriate energy efficiency measures.

The benefits of energy efficiency upon the environment are self-evident. These benefits are of particular relevance, as South Africa remains one of the highest emitters of greenhouse gases in Africa.

At a local level, the problems of carbon dioxide (CO2) and smoke emissions have been the focus of concern for many communities living adjacent to heavily industrialised areas.

Most of South Africa’s carbon dioxide emissions are from use of coal. Carbon dioxide emissions have increased by about 30 percent over the past decade. Energy efficiency can address both the macroscopic and microscopic aspects of atmospheric pollution. I am sure that MTN has put in place all safety precautions for this innovative initiation.

Programme director,

Once again, I want to congratulate MTN on its initiative to become energy self-sufficient. By benchmarking yourself as part of the growing international best practice corporations you make us all very proud and position yourself in the forefront of mankind’s determination to move into the future having learned from the wasteful past.

This initiative by MTN is but the beginning of a process. MTN should not rest on its laurels but be spurred on even higher heights of energy innovation and investment. You are thus not only torch bearers for the ICT industry but for the rest of industry.

All the success in your corporate and social investment endeavours must be focussed on making technology cheaper, safer and accessible to all our people. Your corporate achievements both here in South Africa and elsewhere are also ours as proudly South African. Thank you for your contributions towards the successful delivery of the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Well done.

I thank you and God bless you!

Source: Department of Communications

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