- South Africa’s Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy Gwede Mantashe says energy security is at the centre of the country’s Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan, “with a requirement of reliable, affordable and clean energy sources, as well as long-term sustainable jobs.”
During this morning’s opening session of Enlit Africa, taking place online from 8–10 June, the ministerial address was delivered on behalf of the minister by Advocate Thabo Mokoena, the DG of the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy. He said South Africa “fully appreciates the risk of climate change for current and future generations and the need for a transition to a low carbon economy”. Mitigating climate change and a just energy transition are also important themes of the conference.
Minister Mantashe said while the “National Development Plan needs South Africa to transition to a lower carbon-intensive economy, we recognise the challenges proposed by climate change, given our country ‘s developmental needs, and that coal power generation currently represents around 74% as part of our generation mix”. The rest of the country’s energy is provided by 7% hydro, 4% wind, 3% solar PV, 1% solar CSP, 7% oil and 3% nuclear.
He said it was “critical for the country to fully understand the trade-off between the new investments needed in power generation and the reduction in coal mines’ production, as well as the eventual closure of some stations around 2040, as driven by different levels of emission targets.”
Minister Mantashe also stated that the country was making steady progress on its hydrogen society roadmap, “meant to set out a vision for an inclusive hydrogen society in South Africa, so that an enabling compact between industry, labour, community and government can be developed.”
According to the minister, “the evolution of a just energy transition in South Africa will require a balanced, integrated, enhanced and innovative international collaboration at both technical and financial levels”. He invited the Enlit Africa attendees to “work with us, collaborate and partner and also, assist the process towards a balanced and fair outcome for all South Africans.
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