Radebe commits to providing affordable, sustainable energy

Government understands the frustration of business as unreliability and high cost continues to plague the country’s energy sector, said Minister of Energy Jeff Radebe yesterday.

Delivering the opening address at the African Utility Week currently under way in Cape Town, Radebe said following the victory at the election polls last week there was now no denying that government needed to deliver these two critical factors to business and ordinary citizens alike.

“We are aware that the South African energy sector is constrained. Our current energy needs are increasing. If the economy has to grow, our generation capacity has to increase now. In addition, our electricity infrastructure is old and in need of more investments to accommodate intermittence due to deployment of renewable energy,” he said. “The energy sector in South Africa, like the global energy sector, is going through a transition where we have to ensure that we increase generation of clean, accessible, affordable, secure and sustainable energy for all. This brings its own challenges.”

Radebe emphasised that energy was a critical component and input cost into the economy.

“Unaffordable energy in a mineral energy complex can only frustrate the industrialisation programme, he said indicating that going forward the objectives were to deliver a good energy mix, energy efficiency, reduced greenhouse gas emissions and lowered energy costs.

Radebe said while South Africa could not ignore the vast amounts of coal reserves in the country as part of its energy mix, gas would play a critical role in the future. This, he said, included shale gas.

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