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Radebe: Demand calls for balancing act in SA's energy sector

May 15 2018 16:42
Carin Smith

The South African energy sector must maintain a balancing act in terms of demand and securing energy supply, especially as the country’s economy is on a steady upward trajectory, Energy Minister Jeff Radebe said at the opening of the 18th Africa Utility Week in Cape Town on Tuesday.

The issue of ageing energy network infrastructure remains a concern, he added, because it limits government’s ability to distribute energy to all.

"South Africa's energy plans are shaped by energy security, environmental sustainability and energy access to all," he said.

"The Department of Energy strives to ensure our demand side and energy efficiency programmes are continuously responding to the changing energy environment."

He said his department aimed to save as much energy as possible, and consistently worked with other key government departments to increase energy efficiency.

He said the long awaited Integrated Resource Plan could be finalised in August this year.

South Africa is trying to reduce carbon emissions by 34% by 2020, but according to Radebe, this will be "subject to the availability of sources". He is pleased, however, with the significant decline in tariffs for wind and solar energy.

Radebe thanked the organisers of Africa Utility Week, as he regards it as a very important platform to cultivate dialogue between governments and other stakeholders in the energy sector to reflect on key issues relating especially to energy solutions.

"Our government adopted the National Development Plan (NDP) as South Africa's road map to deliver and transform the South African economic landscape. The NDP provides a shared long-term strategic framework within which long-term planning takes place," said Radebe.

"It involves adequate investment in the energy sector, environmental sustainability through the reduction of pollution and addressing service delivery."

Earlier this month, independent energy expert Ted Blom told Fin24 that the possibility of load shedding by Eskom in South Africa this winter was larger than the Day Zero water crisis that engulfed Cape Town until last month.

Shortly after this claim was made by Blom, however, Eskom acting CEO Phakamani Hadebe said it was unlikely there would be load shedding this winter.

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africa utility week  |  jeff radebe  |  sa economy  |  energy
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