Energy-related themes in the 2014 State of the Nation Address by South African President Jacob Zuma included “radical” transformation of the country’s energy mix, structural changes in public sector entities to help them addressing energy challenges and a commitment towards developing two controversial energy options, nuclear and shale gas.
Zuma also touched on energy imports, Eskom, the Independent System and Market Operator Bill and Coal 3.
Due to the nature of Sona, details of challenges are often overlooked. “However, what does raise a red flag is the message being sent to potential overseas investors, directly and indirectly, the local manufacturing markets and service providers,” says Johan Muller, programme manager for energy and environment at Frost & Sullivan.
“With such a strong emphasis on developing coal, nuclear and shale gas, several issues need resolution. Where does the proposed carbon tax fit in? Why the strong emphasis on nuclear? Should renewable energies not play a larger part in the energy mix, and is there more room for privatisation in the energy landscape?”