Italy’s renewable energy group Building Energy recently hosted South African minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, at the company’s headquarters in Milan, reported PV Magazine.

Nkoana-Mashabane said South Africa was “focusing its attention on the environment, maintaining all the goals that were set for the improvement of the energy mix and the increase in the use of clean energy, and will be one of the main players in the upcoming COP21. We are aware of the role that foreign companies, like Building Energy, play in South Africa and we’re working to keep all our commitments in order to guarantee that their investments will profit.”

She met with Building Energy CEO Fabrizio Zago, with Saul Kgomotso Molobi, consul-general of South Africa to Milan, present.

For his part Fabrizio Zago called Nkoana-Mashabane’s visit to the company’s Milan headquarters a “tangible sign of the good relationship” the group has with South Africa. The country “represents a market with a huge potential for companies operating in the renewable energy sector” thanks to its rich resources and the governmental programs for clean energy development, he added.

Building Energy already manages dozens of energy projects in South Africa, including the 81 MW Kathu solar farm in the Northern Cape, one of the biggest PV plants on the continent.

In April, Building Energy won preferred bidder status in the fourth round of South Africa’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Program (REIPPP).

In other news, South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma returned from a successful Working Visit to The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), co-chairing the Bi-National Commission (BNC), said AllAfrica.

The President stated: “We have decided that the next decade of our BNC should intensify the implementation of joint economic projects, in particular the Grand Inga Hydropower Project, whose founding Treaty was signed on 30 October 2013. We have urged the responsible Ministries/Departments to finalise all outstanding issues in order to pave the way for the construction of this Pan-African flagship project”.

The next BNC will be held in South Africa, in 2016.