In South Africa, the FairPlay movement has welcomed the South African government’s decision to revive its biofuels strategy, as announced in a speech by Energy Minister Jeff Radebe at an energy conference in Cape Town last week. “This confirms FairPlay’s position that implementing a mandatory bioethanol fuel blend will benefit the country through job creation, increased fixed investment, technology development and energy security, as well as expanded sugar production and desperately needed jobs in poor rural areas,” said Francois Baird, founder of the movement that fights for a level playing field in trade, and for the protection of local jobs.
“It’s been a long time coming, and South Africa has to hope that this time it’s for real,” Baird said. “More than a decade ago, the government committed to a biofuels strategy, aiming at a mandatory blend of at least 2% ethanol in petrol. In 2015, it provided for a mix of between 2% and 10%. Nothing happened, and the strategy was never implemented.”
He noted that while countries around the world are developing and implementing fuel ethanol policies, spurred by sharply rising oil prices, South Africa has been left behind.