South Africa Banks Discuss Ways to Help Ease Country’s Energy Crisis

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South Africa is banking on Africa Oil Week (AOW), a high profile event that is now in its 26th year, to help address its ongoing energy crisis.

The country is in the midst of an energy crisis, with utility firm Eskom at its centre. Cash-strapped Eskom has this year implemented rolling power cuts across the country that have hurt local businesses. The firm has suffered from massive debt in recent months and SA’s government is currently looking for ways to address the problem.

This is happening even as local financing institutions are joining an international trend towards cutting back on coal-based energy projects.

South Africa has been hard-pressed to adopt new policies in this regard.at the same time, Total South Africa has recently discovered gas condensate off South Africa’s southeastern coast.

This comes even as the country’s President, Cyril Ramaphosa is combining of the Mineral Resources and Energy portfolios under Minister Gwede Mantashe.

Minister Mantashe also announced that work has begun of drafting oil and gas legislation.

Africa Oil Week forum is expected to address this and other emergent issues affecting South Africa’s energy sector. It is hoped that Western Cape Premier Alan Winde, a vocal proponent of gas-to-energy for South Africa, will open the Showcase on Tuesday 5th November, and that Minister Mantashe will speak. The event will feature, for the first time, a day-long South African Showcase.

Africa Oil Week is the leading oil and gas event for the continent, with over 1,500 key executives attending from around the world to broker new deals. The affair brings together global energy and petroleum community, government officials, international oil companies, independents, investors and service providers. The unique event is a hub for deal-making and building networks with senior decision-makers.

The opening session of the South African Showcase, titled ‘Charting a Successful Way Forward for South Africa’s Oil and Gas Sector’, will set out how the energy sector can commit to President Cyril Ramaphosa’s recently stated goal of attracting $100 billion worth of investments.

Tebogo Motloung, Acting General Manager for the country’s Petroleum Agency and Peter Leon, Partner at Herbert Smith Freehills have already committed to participation in a session providing an overview of South Africa’s proposed new petroleum legislation.

Niall Kramer, Chief Executive Officer of the South African Oil and Gas Alliance (SAOGA) will moderate two panel discussions during the day. One will explore the potential for development of South Africa’s unconventional energy industry. The other, on local content and procurement, will address, amongst other issues, how South African service-providers can improve their competitiveness in tenders for international projects.

South Africa’s government is optimistic that these sessions, along with their new policies, will help resolve the crisis.

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