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China Offers Solar Help to Blackout-Ridden South Africa

South Africa's aging coal-powered infrastructure makes the country prone to constant blackouts while also pushing the country's emissions to harmful levels. Image: Paul Botes / AFP.

China has offered to donate solar panels and generators to South Africa to keep the lights on at key facilities like hospitals. The offer comes as green energy is increasingly emerging as a field for diplomatic engagement between Beijing and developing countries.

China’s ambassador to South Africa, Chen Xiaodong, made the announcement at the first China-South Africa New Energy Investment and Cooperation Conference in Johannesburg. South Africa is suffering under constant rolling blackouts (known locally as ‘load-shedding’) due to dilapidated infrastructure.

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