SA seeks electricity sector investment

JANUARY 23, 2015

South Africa is looking at ways to encourage investment in its electricity sector, as well as find ways to unlock investment potential, says Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene.

“We are looking at ways to encourage the private sector to invest with us, to build up the electricity capacity of the country and encourage further investment,” said the Minister, who was speaking at a dinner held on Thursday under the theme ‘Reimagining Africa’s future and South Africa’s role in Africa’s integration’.

He said the Department of Energy’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producers Programme has been a success story that speaks to government’s commitment to work with the private sector as well as its desire to encourage investment.

Minister Nene said the most pressing constraint to future investment in South Africa was the electricity shortage.

“We need this to grow our market at home and to provide our regional partners with a rising market. The most pressing constraint to future investment in this country is our electricity shortage.

“We remain committed to a transparent and responsible fiscal framework. Besides limiting headline spending, in February we will provide certainty as to how our large state owned enterprises will be run and how they will be held to account – particularly since their service delivery is so critical for investors to determine if projects are viable.”

The Minister said there had to be an improvement in the way in which communication with the private sector occurs.

“Increased consultation about perceived problems in the economy, in particular before the drafting of legislative bills, would help to reduce uncertainty as well as the need for revisions to legislation. We are working with business, community and labour to find ways to mend our fractious labour relations,” he said.

Additionally, government is reducing red tape and finding ways to unlock investment potential.

“South Africa offers significant opportunities at home and abroad. We are forging ahead with our regional partners to create a continent that is strong, resilient and competitive.” - SAnews.gov.za