An implementation plan approved by the cabinet last week to guide the spending of an expected R1.5-trillion towards SA’s just energy transition in the next five years proposes important fixes and workarounds for how the money from international lenders and investors can be best accessed, managed and allocated.

The plan shows that the challenge facing SA is not access to finance but the ability to afford it — most financing so far has been offered as concessional loans — and to set up projects eligible for these funds. This places the country in a position in which it might lose out on billions of rand in grants and highly concessional loan financing to pay for infrastructure and other development projects under the just transition...

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