CAPE TOWN– South African Energy Minister Jeff Radebe says he would like to see the energy sector contributing 25 per cent of the targeted 100 billion US dollars in investments announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa recently.

Last month, President Ramaphosa appointed special economic envoys to lobby potential foreign investors to invest in South Africa as part of a push to raise 100 billion USD in new investments over the next five years.

We would like the energy sector to contribute, as a minimum, to a quarter of this target. This ambitious goal could be reached in the energy sector with several initiatives,” Radebe told the media here Wednesday ahead of presenting his department’s Budget Vote in Parliament.

The Minister said this could be reached through several ways, including securing strategic stock through investment in new fuel tanks and in infrastructure required for South Africa to become a major shale gas producer. This can also be done through promoting natural gas by designing and building infrastructure required to transport natural gas and liquefied natural gas (LNG).

Another way this can be achieved is by driving towards cleaner fuels by improving the country’s refinery assets to meet world class emission standards as well as through supporting a transition towards electrification of transport through key strategic partnerships.

Radebe said globally, gas is the fastest growing fossil fuel and it is expected to catch up with coal over the next 20 years. Gas is emerging as the main hydrocarbon component of a more sustainable mix to power the world’s economy.

With gas becoming increasingly accessible due to technological advancements and enhanced market liquidity, its demand will steadily grow around the world. In South Africa, natural gas, whether imported via regional pipelines or through liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals at strategic port locations, should be prioritised as it could play an important role in transitioning to a low carbon economy,” Radebe said.

This direction will establish a game changing demand platform for the future exploration and utilisation of South Africa’s latent shale gas resources to the benefit of security of supply for future generations.”

He said while the price of electricity is an important component to the economy, the Independent Power Producer (IPP) programme will provide the much needed competition in power generation, with a view of providing competitive prices to the economy but most importantly, to indigent households.