1 minute read
5 Nov 2014
9:36 am

Committee recommends Inga Treaty ratification

Parliament's energy portfolio committee on Tuesday recommended that the legislature ratify the Grand Inga Hydropower project, but raised concerns about political stability in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

File picture: AFP/File / Alain Wandimoyi
Members of the UN Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUSCO) patrol on October 23, 2014.

“The committee noted with concerns the security and political instability in the DRC,” it said in a statement.

The DRC ambassador to South Africa, Ntshikiwane Mashimbye, suggested the committee conduct an oversight visit to his country, and said energy security was vital to development, without which conflicts would not end.

“This is not even about electricity; this is about the industrialisation of Africa. All conflicts will never come to an end until we have the requisite energy and industrialise the continent,” he said.

If it goes ahead, the planned hydro power station on the Congo River is expected to generate about 40,000 megawatt of electricity, sufficient to power half of Africa. It will be the biggest project of its kind in the world.

The governments of South Africa and the DRC signed the Grand Inga Project treaty in October last year, and Kinshasa in March secured a US73 million grant from the World Bank to help it develop the project.

– Sapa