Mabele Fuels – South Africa’s most advanced manufacturer and pioneer of biofuels, joins the outpouring of condolences and support by millions of South African and global citizens on the passing of President Nelson Mandela and the unified calls to follow and be inspired by his exemplary conduct.
According to Mabele Fuels Joint Chief Executive Officer Mr. Zahir Williams – “As a truly empowered South African owned and managed business pioneering the nascent South African biofuels industry, Mabele Fuels stands today as a direct result and beneficiary of President Mandela’s unflinching and steadfast conviction, vision and dedication to the creation of a non-racial society and transformed society, in which all people have the right and possibility of participating in meaningful economic activity and to realize their full potential of their own free will.”
As the developer of South Africa’s largest biofuels production facility (158 million litres per annum) at an investment value of R2.4 billion at Bothaville in the Free State Province, Mabele Fuels in particular joins the Free State Provincial Government under the leadership of Premier Ace Magashula in honouring President Mandela and the need to emulate his example and legacy.
President Mandela’s vision of a South Africa and world that cares for its most vulnerable and marginalized as the true measure of its success, therefore remains Mabele Fuels’ inspiration and motivation for the creation of a sustainable and thriving biofuels industry in South Africa with the ability of creating substantial rural and agricultural jobs.
“Rural and farming communities remain among the marginalized and underdeveloped in South African society and therefore must stand to be the direct beneficiaries of our most innovative thinking and bold interventions, such as the immense potential inherent in the untapped biofuels industry. Independent and Government-recognised job studies show that the Mabele Fuels Bothaville bioethanol production facility will create between 15 000 – 18 000 jobs and the entire industry 25 000 jobs more broadly based on a 2% level of blending of bio ethanol and petrol”, says Williams.
Mabele Fuels therefore remains committed, as it has been over the past five years, to continue working in partnership and collaboration with Government, to finalise and implement an enabling biofuels regulatory environment, that results in the type of people-centred and humane development that President Mandela dedicated his life’s mission to. For Mabele Fuels, this includes a significant contribution to the Free State Province as an agricultural breadbasket for the economy, environmental protection through cleaner fuels and long term security of fuel and energy supply to the benefit of millions of South Africans.
“We dare not falter. Our collective and collaborative success would be a fitting living tribute, honour and celebration of President Mandela’s life and legacy and the extraordinary opportunity we have to emulate his example in pursuit of the kind of South African society that he dedicated his entire being and existence to”, says Williams.
We therefore commend Government for demonstrating vision and foresight in realizing the intrinsic social and economic benefits to be derived from developing South Africa’s biofuels potential and for the progress made since 2007 in creating the enabling policy and regulatory environment for the industry to be developed. In similar vein, we implore Government and recommit ourselves toward practical implementation of the regulatory architecture in pursuit of a flourishing nascent local biofuels industry.
NOTE TO EDITORS:
Mabele Fuels is a South African company owned by Black Economic Empowerment groupings, emerging farmers, local investment institutions and private investors. Its business is the manufacture of fuel-grade ethanol from grain sorghum for sale in the South African bio fuels market. Grain sorghum is cultivated in South Africa’s traditional summer grain areas, like the eastern Free State and eastern parts of the North West provinces, which receive summer rainfall. It is an ideal crop for bio fuels because it can withstand droughts and works well on fallow soil.
Mabele Fuels is at an advanced state of readiness to commence construction of a large-scale bio ethanol refinery (158 million litres per annum) in the Bothaville area of the Free State province. The project has enjoyed strong Government support and recognition. Mabele Fuels is expecting imminent Government approval to enable immediate implementation of its refinery construction program, for completion before the 1 October 2015 effective date of the mandatory bio fuels blending regulations. On 30 September, the Minister of Energy promulgated 1 October 2015 as the commencement date for the coming into effect of mandatory blending of petrol and diesel with bio fuels. There has since been significant public discourse and debate about the matter, which is likely to continue into the future as the local bio fuels industry develops toward this vision. There remains however a number of misconceptions, misperceptions and unanswered questions about the bio fuels industry and grain sorghum in particular as bio fuels feedstock. This is due to a lack of informed understanding and reliable information about the strategic benefits and opportunities of bio fuels to South Africa’s energy and economic future.
Issued on behalf of Mabele Fuels by ETHICORE Political Consulting
Ms Wisahl Jappie
Political and Communications Advisor
T: +27 (0) 21 424 1443 / 3125
M: +27 (0) 72 227 1144