The Department of Trade and Industry (the dti) said on Tuesday the South African government was committed to supporting efforts of all stakeholders to open the fuel cells market for the benefit of the country.
Chief director of primary mineral processing at the dti Tapiwa Samanga said fuel cell buses presented an opportunity for South Africa to play a role in reducing global greenhouse gas emissions and improving quality of life.
In partnership with the German government, the dti hosted the Fuel Cell Bus Workshop in Cape Town on Monday.
“Different stakeholders have various objectives when it comes to the development of the fuel cells industry. Government is the convergence point of these diverse objectives and our role is to optimise the benefits from this emerging sector for the whole country,” Samanga said.
“The Germans have already made good progress in rolling out fuel cell bus pilots in a number of cities. We will learn from the German experience. The fact that our countries have good bilateral relations will stand us in good stead; we can work together in developing the South African fuel cell bus industry.”
The purpose of the workshop was to provide a platform where South Africa can learn from the German experience with the successful rollout of fuel cell bus pilots in various cities.
Key stakeholders in the South African bus transportation including metros, mining companies, bus manufacturers, as well as other government departments attended the workshop.
Samanga said government and the private sector would be working together to leverage on the comparative advantage that the country has with regard to mineral resources such as platinum.
“As government we want to explore opportunities brought about by the Platinum Group Metals value-chain in order to create jobs, grow the economy and further stimulate the beneficiation of our mineral resources,” Samanga said.
“We are committed to supporting all the local players to participate in the fuel cell value-chain experience, especially our local technology developers.”