Pretoria: The next five years is about moving South Africa towards an energy secure future, with the Department of Energy already integrating their plans towards this goal.
According to Energy Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson, her department has already started the process of ensuring a maximum level of alignment between their Strategic and Annual Performance Plan (APP) and the National Development Plan (NDP). This, the minister said, culminate in a new five-year strategic plan.
“This new strategic plan, together with the updated APP, will be greatly aligned with the Medium Term Strategic Framework, and is expected to set out in detail how we will respond to the injunctions of the NDP, as outlined by the President in his State of the Nation Address… [We will] also set clear targets and the systems and processes to monitor the implementation of these during the same period,” Minister Joemat-Pettersson said on Tuesday.
She was speaking during the Portfolio Committee on Energy meeting in Cape Town.
The minister said she was determined to bring consistency and certainty with regard to the policy and legislative environment.
The plans, Minister Joemat-Pettersson said, include finalising the Integrated Energy Master Plan, together with its component parts, namely the Integrated Resource Plan and the Gas Utilisation Master Plan.
Natural gas from the SADC region and South Africa’s shale gas resources will also feature centrally in this plan. Minister Joemat-Pettersson said she intends to work closely with the Department of Mineral Resources to resolve the issues that will facilitate investment in the gas sector.
“Regional integration within SADC is central to our energy security, particularly as it diversifies our energy mix and complements our fossil based energy sector.”
Minister Joemat-Pettersson said she intends to accelerate all the outstanding matters surrounding the commencement of the nuclear build programme.
The minister also plans to address the problems that Eskom faces. In this light, she said she is looking at the short to medium term, including Eskom’s funding model.
The minister said they will in the next five years accelerate the roll-out of electricity to reach universal access targets. They will do this through the approved National Household Electrification Strategy, utilising grid and non-grid means.
“We will work with the Department of Cooperative Governance, National Treasury and South African Local Government Association (Salga) to address the maintenance and refurbishment backlogs in the electrification distribution industry,” the minister said.
She committed to work in close co-operation with other spheres of government to ensure President Jacob Zuma’s call to give extra support to municipalities in need.
She also vowed to ensure the repositioning and strengthening of state owned entities (SOEs), especially with regards to the Central Energy Fund (CEF) and its subsidiaries, as well as the South African National Energy Development Institute (SANEDI) and the recently established Nuclear Radio Active Waste Disposal Institute.
“I am not willing to yield or compromise on this, as our SOEs are central to attaining our goals as a developmental state,” said Minister Joemat-Pettersson.
SOURCE: SOUTH AFRICA OFFICIAL NEWS