Mantashe unexpectedly addresses oil conference on Monday

3rd October 2022

By: Rebecca Campbell

Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor


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Although not programmed to do so, South African Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe addressed the Ministerial and VIP Symposium of the Africa Oil Week conference and Green Energy Africa Summit, being held in Cape Town, on Monday.

Mantashe was programmed to deliver a keynote address at the conference on Tuesday.

“Africa is the least developed part of the world,” he pointed out. “But it has immense potential.”

He highlighted the continent’s great mineral riches. “All those minerals should be beneficiated here, on the continent.”

He noted that no investor came to the continent to “save” it. They came to Africa to make money. But in the process, they created jobs. “We must welcome investors here, in this continent,” he affirmed. Investors needed strong Governments and the assurance of policy stability.

Regarding the need to transition from high-carbon to low-carbon energy sources, he observed that all agreed on the need to do this. The question, however, was how to do it. He further noted that the European Union had classified natural gas and nuclear energy as low-carbon energy sources.

As for the concept of the ‘Just Energy Transition’, he said “justice must be seen to be done”. A just transition had to be community focused. He highlighted that, should coal be rapidly phased out in South Africa, ten towns in the country would immediately become ghost towns. He then posed the question: how was the Just Energy Transition to be managed?

He stressed the importance of the African Union developing a common position for the entire African continent, consolidating the views of the different African countries. He pointed out that, in much of Africa, the need was to actually connect many people to energy. As for South Africa, “[w]e need an energy mix that helps us develop”.

He confirmed he would again address the conference on Tuesday.

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter



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