South Africa To Lift Shale Gas Moratorium, Embracing Renewables in Energy Transition, Says Mineral Resources Minister

Representational image. Credit: Canva

South African Mineral Resources and Energy Minister, Gwede Mantashe, announced during his keynote address at the Enlit Africa conference in Cape Town that the moratorium on the development of the country’s shale gas resources would be lifted. Despite potential court challenges, South Africa plans to proceed with the development of its oil and gas resources, as the country is in need of these energy sources. Mantashe also emphasized the need to revive the State-owned oil company, PetroSA, which had experienced “asset-stripping”.


Regarding the just energy transition, Mantashe stated that the focus should be on moving from high-carbon emission to low-carbon emission generation technologies, rather than solely shifting from coal to renewables. He highlighted that converting a power station from coal-fired to gas-fired could reduce emissions by 50%, even though it would still emit carbon, albeit at a significantly lower level.

Mantashe addressed concerns about nuclear power, citing the Koeberg nuclear power plant in South Africa as a safe and cost-effective option. He mentioned that nuclear energy might be expensive upfront but was economically advantageous in the long run. Mantashe stressed the importance of both state and private sector involvement in electricity generation, acknowledging the necessity of public participation while encouraging the growth of private sector generation.


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