The Republic of South Africa’s Energy and Mineral Resources Minister, Hon. Gwede Mantashe has bemoaned Africa’s current status as the most energy-deficient continent in the world.
The Minister also expressed sorrow at how over 500 million Africans lack access to modern forms of energy and are afflicted with indoor pollution and environmental degradation.
Hon. Gwede Mantashe made the sorrowful disclosures when he addressed participants at the opening ceremony of the 2019 Africa Oil Week, currently ongoing in the South African city of Cape Town.
He said that the African Union [AU’s] Agenda 2063 enjoins member states to develop the continent's energy infrastructure where all members are connected.
He, therefore, called for the urgent harnessing of Africa’s oil and gas sectors to deliver modern energy services to all households and businesses.
Africa’s gas, he emphasized must power plants and other petrochemical facilities in member states as it reaches for export markets. This, hon. Gwede Mantashe added will ensure we do not always import beneficiated hydrocarbons.
South Africa remains ready to contribute to the development of its recent findings in the oil and gas sectors through the importation of gas. In early 2019, we announced hydrocarbon finds by Total and its partners of the Mossel Bay Coast and that we are confident the findings will spur further interests in the upstream potential of South Africa.
The Minister pointed out that they have taken notes of global industry shifts and that they were encouraged by the visions set by many African nations to enter into the global gas market and promote the development of respective domestic and regional gas markets.
According to the Minister, natural gas can improve the efficiencies of many industries currently using sub-optimal fuel sources in their production processes which will result in a turnaround in the industrial capacity and demand in the region.
He maintained that both the energy and minerals resources sectors are catalysts to economic growth and that lowering the cost of energy is critical to the growth of the extractive and manufacturing sectors respectively.
‘’ We remain resolute in our conviction about the importance of all energy carriers in our energy mix and that we intend to exploit our natural resources endowment to our benefit,’’ the South African Mineral Resources Minister assures.