U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen on Friday visited South Africa's coal mining region of Mpumalanga, pledging America's firm support to ensure the country's transition to renewable energy does not leave its workers behind.
Yellen met with South African officials after touring a U.S.-funded facility where workers are training for jobs in the solar industry and other renewable energy.
She said she would meet later Friday with philanthropists and private sector officials and hoped Washington's focus on a just transition would underpin their interest in backing the massive project aimed at supporting South Africa's gradual phasing out of fossil fuels.
The United States, Britain, France, Germany and the European Union backed South Africa's "Just Energy Transition Partnership," or JETP, in late 2021 with a combined $8.5 billion, but the total cost could be ten times that high.
"The financial package of $8.5 billion is a substantial down payment," Yellen said at the U.S.-funded Top of the World Training Center.
"Importantly, it is designed to mobilize additional money from the private sector and philanthropies, and I will meet with representatives from both groups later today," she said.
More: Yellen seeks to drum up private sector support for South Africa's energy transition