Africa-Press – South-Africa. Forget the estimated 370 000 green hydrogen jobs President Cyril Ramaphosa enthused would be created; South Africa’s first citizen mooted a public holiday should the Springboks win the 2023 Rugby World Cup.
Speaking on Monday at the second green hydrogen summit in Cape Town, Ramaphosa began his address by telling delegates he could not get hold of French President Emmanuel Macron “to commiserate” with him after the tense one-point South Africa win during the quarter-final clash between the Springboks and host nation France in Paris on Sunday evening.
Ramaphosa, with an evident wry smile, said he and Macron often spoke “about the highs and the lows of both of our countries”.
“I’m sure we will be able to talk later,” he added, a cheeky smile etched on his face.
Ramaphosa proposed a day off for the country should the national rugby team emerge victorious and retain the William Webb Ellis trophy – the sport’s holy grail – after the 28 October final in Paris.
Ahead of Sunday’s game, Ramaphosa spoke with SA Rugby director Rassie Erasmus to wish the Springboks well, promising to attend the final should the team make it that far.
Meanwhile, when he got down to the day’s business, the president stated the Cabinet-approved investment strategy listed “green hydrogen as one of the big frontier strategic sectors expected to attract foreign and domestic direct investment”.
He said “the hydrogen economy” could lead to a job and small business boom in South Africa should it be implemented.
“It has been estimated that the hydrogen economy has the potential to add 3.6% to our GDP by 2050 and approximately 370 000 jobs,” Ramaphosa added.
“Proper planning, regulation and incentive schemes are critical to mobilise private sector investment.
“South Africa has deep capital markets with world-class conditions for generating renewable energy through solar and wind power, which are key drivers of the production of green hydrogen.”