In May 2023, a South African delegation attended the Hydrogen Summit which was led by Minister Sihle Zikalala and the Presidency Infrastructure Office. During the Summit, a roundtable between the government of the Netherlands and South Africa took place. The roundtable formed part of the series of SDEDH workshops that were launched by Minister Nzimande in Cape Town last year. The purpose of the roundtable allowed for gathering of inputs and recommendation from the South African side on projects that can be supported by the Dutch government in assisting South Africa to kick-start its green hydrogen journey. After the Summit a proposal was developed by Impact Hydrogen for the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO) on the proposed collaborative opportunities between South Africa and the Netherlands.
Further to note is the keen interest that the Danish government developed in establishing a similar consultation process with South Africa in order to support South African initiatives within the hydrogen economy. Therefore, the two governments (Dutch and Danish) agreed to co-host a business forum which would kick start the Danish consultative process.
One of the key achievements to the above mentioned is that Invest International, acting on behalf of the Government of Netherland has committed about EUR 50 million of grant funding to the South Africa-Hydrogen (SA-H2) Fund for the development and implementation of green hydrogen related projects in South Africa. The SA-H2 Fund is a new financing platform, which was announced in Pretoria in the presence of President Ramaphosa and Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte on 20 June 2023. This fund will act as a catalyst to both attract and deploy blended finance funding towards green hydrogen projects. The SA-H2 Fund is a joint initiative between Invest International and Climate Fund Managers from The Netherlands and the IDC, DBSA and Sanlam from South Africa. As this grant funding comes from the Dutch DRIVE-programme (Government-to-Government Programme), an endorsement from the government of South Africa, through National Treasury is needed. Current discussions are ongoing between National Treasury and the Dutch government to conclude this process.