You are currently viewing our desktop site, do you want to download our app instead?
Moneyweb Android App Moneyweb iOS App Moneyweb Mobile Web App

NEW SENS search and JSE share prices

More about the app

SA miners back gradual move away from coal-fired power

But said it must be done gradually and responsibly.
Image: Waldo Swiegers/Bloomberg

South Africa’s mining industry has given its backing to moving the continent’s most developed economy away from coal but said it must be done gradually and responsibly.

In a presentation to the country’s Presidential Climate Change Coordinating Commission late last week the main body representing the industry said that 60% of the country’s $302 billion economy is reliant on energy produced from coal.

“This energy and associated energy intensive complex helped to develop the most industrialised country in Africa,” Roger Baxter, the chief executive officer of the Minerals Council South Africa, said in his presentation. “We support the transition to a low-carbon economy and society – contingent on doing it judiciously and systemically.”

South Africa’s economy expanded over the last century through the development of the world’s biggest gold and platinum reserves, which require significant and reliable power supply. The provision of power from coal, which still accounts for 82% of the electricity produced in the country, has led to the development of power hungry aluminum and chrome smelting plants.

In total, Baxter said, businesses that rely on energy sourced from coal account for 45% of employment and 70% of exports. Mining, and the industries that rely on it add R800 billion ($54 billion) in value to the South African economy.

Renewable energy in the form of wind and solar power accounted for just 5.6% of South Africa’s power supply last year.

“Renewables share has grown, but remains intermittent depending on wind, rain, cloud cover,” Baxter said. “Mining requires 24 hour, stable, baseload power.”

The coal industry also accounts for the livelihoods of 450 000 households in the province of Mpumalanga, where most coal mines and coal-fired power plants are located.

A transition away from coal will cost 12 000 jobs by 2030 and between 20 000 and 30 000 jobs in the 2030s and the same amount in the 2040s, Neva Makgetla, a senior economist at Trade & Industrial Policy Strategies, an economic research group, said in a presentation at the same event.

© 2021 Bloomberg

COMMENTS   0

You must be signed in to comment.

SIGN IN SIGN UP

LATEST CURRENCIES  

USD / ZAR
GBP / ZAR
EUR / ZAR
BTC / USD

SEARCH COMPANIES
Enter company name or share code:

ECONOMIC DATA  

  CPIThe Consumer Price Index (CPI) measures monthly changes in prices for a range of consumer products Sep 2021 5.00%
  CPI ex OERThe Consumer Price Index excluding Owners’ Equivalent Rent (CPI ex OER) measures monthly changes in prices for a range of consumer products excluding Owners’ equivalent rent that measures changes in the cost of owner-occupied housing Sep 2021 5.50%
  RepoThe rate at which the Reserve Bank lends money to the country’s commercial banks and set by the Reserve Bank’s Monetary Policy Committee. Oct 2021 3.50%
  Prime lendingThe Prime Lending Rate is the rate of interest that commercial banks will charge their clients when issuing a loan (home loan or vehicle finance) Oct 2021 7.00%
INSIDER SUBSCRIPTIONS APP VIDEOS RADIO / LISTEN LIVE SHOP OFFERS WEBINARS NEWSLETTERS TRENDING PORTFOLIO TOOL CPD HUB

Follow us:

Search Articles:
Click a Company: