Energy plan to get an overhaul before going back to cabinet

08 May 2018 - 11:35 By Linda Ensor
Energy minister Jeff Radebe. File photo.
Energy minister Jeff Radebe. File photo.

Energy minister Jeff Radebe has said that the integrated resource plan will be discussed before it will be re-tabled in cabinet.

Radebe told parliament's energy portfolio committee on Tuesday that the department would finalise its review of the plan by no later than August.

The minister gave an undertaking that there will be consultations with stakeholders on the technical report that underpins the integrated resource plan.

The Department of Energy is currently working on both the integrated resource plan and the integrated energy plan after these were sent back by cabinet for revision in December 2017. Radebe said it was critical for the department to finalise these policies "soon" to provide policy certainty.

The integrated resource plan will determine the energy mix for the next 20 years‚ including the role that nuclear energy will play in this.

Finalisation of the integrated resource plan and the integrated energy plan are vital for the policy certainty which is required by investors. The minister said he wanted the energy sector to be a catalyst for economic growth and poverty alleviation.

Radebe told MPs there would be consultations with stakeholders such as the National Economic Development and Labour Council (Nedlac) and other government departments on the technical report prior to the reworked integrated resource plan being tabled in cabinet. He said there was an urgent need for decisions on the energy mix to meet present and future energy needs.

In next 12 months decisions would be taken about the country's petroleum refining capacity. While the import of 20% of current demand was manageable‚ importing more than a third of the demand would be a threat to energy security. This was exacerbated by South Africa's distance from refining centres and its limited storage capacity for refined products.

Major international oil companies had lost interest in the downstream sector as an attractive proposition and their withdrawal would open up opportunities for the involvement of local players. Ideally South African businesses and state-owned companies should occupy this space.

The minister said he would provide details on the measures to be taken to deal with the obstacles in the implementation of government policies‚ including how state-owned enterprises in the sector will be dealt with.

He said he was working with the state-owned Central Energy Fund group of companies to address its leadership and governance challenges as speedily as possible to restore stability and restore public confidence in it.

Dealing with the sale of 10 million barrels of strategic stock by the Central Energy Fund‚ Radebe said the CEF had filed an application to court to have this sale - which was not approved by Treasury - declared invalid.

- BusinessLIVE