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Cape Town energises students for the green economy


The South African Renewable Energy Technology Centre (SARETEC), based at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology’s Bellville campus, is the first national renewable energy technology centre in South Africa.

The City of Cape Town has directed funding towards the GreenCape skills development programmes at the South African Renewable Energy Technology Centre (SARETEC).  

‘With the world moving toward cleaner energy options at such a rapid pace, we must take advantage of the gains to be made, both in terms of product and skills supply to prepare Capetonians for future jobs.




‘By supporting the skills development programmes at SARETEC, the City of Cape Town is helping to unlock new-world opportunities for students from previously disadvantaged communities,’ said Alderman James Vos, Mayoral Committee Member for Economic Opportunities and Asset Management, who met with students during a visit to the centre.

This programme, in particular, focuses on capacity development in green economy-related skills sets (water, solar photovoltaics and waste) and conducting skills audits for the Atlantis Special Economic Zone (ASEZ).

The initiative is also gearing for more students in the near future after meeting with hundreds of school pupils in Atlantis, who were taken through the job opportunities within the green economy.

The SARETEC training coincides with the ramping up of the ASEZ, an initiative focused on green technology manufacturing. The ASEZ is expected to attract approximately R3,7 billion in investments over the next two decades.

‘At the end of 2020, the City transferred the general industrial zoned properties, valued at R56,5 million, to the ASEZ (SOC) Ltd. This allows the ASEZ Company to legally contract on the land with prospective bidders and provides much needed economic stimulus and opportunities for the community of Atlantis.

‘By training young people in Cape Town with these highly specialised skills, we have taken a huge step towards helping the City, province, and country realise its goal of becoming a green economic leader on the continent,’ said Alderman Vos.

Renewable Energy Workshop Assistant.

Another programme made possible through the collaborative efforts of various partners is the training of 30 Atlantis locals in a Renewable Energy Workshop Assistant. This training programme is a collaboration between the National Business Initiative (NBI), South African Renewable Energy Technology Centre (SARETEC), West Coast College (WCC) and ASEZ. This course equips learners with practical skills to mount PV installations and skills that are growing in demand with the increase of roof-top solar installations.

‘This collaboration supports the overall objective of greening TVETs, while growing local capabilities aligned to the green transition.

‘Judging by the enthusiasm of the students and their dedication to the course, they share similar sentiments that this course can unlock future-proof career opportunities for them within an economic climate that provides little hope,’ said Anthony Gewer, Programme Manager for the Social Transformation of the National Business Initiative.

‘As a member of the PV mounting course, I am grateful for this opportunity as it is something completely different to what I am used to.  The renewable energy industry is a great industry that provides multiple opportunities. As a student, with the correct mindset, this can become a career and not just a job,’ said Lee-Andre Maquire, a student on the programme.