State to procure 2 000MW of extra energy
JOHANNESBURG - MINERAL Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe has said that the government has undertaken the procurement of an additional 2 000 megawatts of energy to create a conducive environment for the country as an investment destination.
Mantashe said the government had embarked on a serious programme to acquire additional capacity needed to supplement Eskom’s supply.
Mantashe highlighted that the government had implemented the Risk Mitigation Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme that is aimed at procuring 2 000 megawatts from a combination of technologies.
“The deadline for submission of response to request for proposals is December 22, 2020,” said Mantashe.
He also said that the government was procuring additional power from existing renewable energy independent power producers.
Mantashe said the industry’s response to the Covid-19 challenge was to identify interventions in the economic recovery and reconstruction plan that would place the minerals and energy sectors on a recovery and growth path.
“One of the interventions is the recognition that exploration is the lifeblood of mining,” he said. “We must prospect, explore and exploit the world-class mineral deposits we have.”
Business leaders and the government presented a united front on the first day of the investment summit yesterday, which is aimed at raising R1.2 trillion, telling investors that South Africa was an attractive investment destination despite its myriad economic challenges.
The summit aims to reduce unemployment and poverty and to present South Africa as an attractive investment destination.
It is based on the investment momentum that started in 2018 before the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Foreign direct investment flows into South Africa, for example, rose sharply from R26.8 billion in 2017 to R70.6bn in 2018.
The two-day event was the third investment summit and was attended by about 175 delegates from listed companies, emerging firms and entrepreneurs, business associations, labour and the government.
An additional 1 000 online delegates from different parts of the world have registered to date.
On Monday, President Cyril Ramaphosa said that Covid-19 had forced many promising investments pledged at previous conferences to be scaled back or put on hold.
Mantashe said the energy sector aimed to resuscitate green field exploration with the aim of capturing a minimum of 5 percent of the global exploration share, which averages $10 billion (R154bn) a year.
“We have deliberately decided to invest in the geoscience mapping programme, through the Council for Geoscience ,” he said, “We believe this will boost investor confidence due to availability of more reliable geoscience data.”
The summit came amid the economic fallout as a result of the Covid19 pandemic and as South Africa digests the record unemployment rate recorded during the third quarter of 2020. South Africa also on Friday faces a fiscal cliff and risks a credit downgrade by global ratings agencies Moody’s and Fitch that already have South Africa on a negative outlook.
Last week, Statistics South Africa announced that the country’s official unemployment rate had risen to 30.8 percent during the third quarter due to the impact of Covid-19 – the figure highest documented since the Quarterly Labour Force Survey started in 2008. The expanded unemployment rate increased to 43.1 percent during the third quarter.
Minerals Council South Africa president Mxolisi Mgojo said South Africa was at a precipice.
“Hard economic decisions need to be taken, and soon,” said Mgojo.
BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE