Mineral and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe says South Africa should not be forced by rich countries to ban new coal-power projects.
A meeting was held in September with climate envoys from the UK, US, Germany, France and the European Union. Concessional loans and grants worth R74 billion was discussed, but Mantashe did not attend, according to a Bloomberg report.
The meeting was meant to find a deal that could help South Africa transition to green energy.
Mantashe, however, was critical of the conditions that needed to be met in the deal.
“They must not give us conditions, they are developed countries,” Mantashe said. “We are a developing economy, they must talk to our programme.”
Despite President Cyril Ramaphosa this week saying South Africa needed to cut emissions and win climate aid, Mantashe said his priority was the security of the country’s power supply.
Mantashe cited power outages in China, India and the UK after they transitioned to renewable energy.
“If we move like a pendulum from one extreme to another, we are going to be in the same situation. We must have a clear programme. We must navigate the transition carefully, in an organised way.”