The Department of Trade and Industry hosted the 9th session of the South Africa-Saudi Arabia Joint Economic Commission (JEC) in Pretoria. Saudi Arabia says it will help South Africa accelerate its transition to cleaner energy. Saudi Arabia is in talks with government to invest in renewable energy as the country battles one of its worst energy crisis in decades. Minister Ebrahim Patel invited Saudi Arabia business delegation to invest in SA at a time when Eskom ramped up stages of rolling blackouts this year reaching stage six.
The department together with their counterparts also launched the South Africa- Saudi Arabia Joint Business Council. South Africa is hoping to secure investment deals with Saudi Arabia in energy, tourism, agriculture, manufacturing, film and media. Government is also hoping to secure more petrol and diesel. This comes amid threats by oil producing countries OPEC to cut back oil output to push up prices.
Saudi Arabia Minister of Energy Akram Jadawi said they are also exploring gas. He says they will continue having dialogue with South Africa and help it resuscitate its energy sector. Meanwhile the launch of the South Africa-Saudi Arabia Joint Business Council will bring together captains of industry from both countries to deepen economic ties.
Saudi Arabia is South Africa’s strategic partner in the Middle East and the largest source of imports from the region. The exchange of political and business visits by both countries in the past years have yielded positive effects on trade and investment.