Cabinet Approves South Africa’s IRP

On Thursday, the South African government announced that it approved the Integrated Resource Plan (IRP), which outlines the country’s proposed energy mix until 2030.

“The plan proposes nine interventions to ensure the country responds to the energy needs for the next decade. The interventions draw from the current baseline of the demand and supply of the country’s energy and international obligations to the minimum emission standards,” Cabinet said in a statement outlining recent decisions.

It also explained that, “The plan remains within the policy framework of pursuing a diversified energy mix that reduces reliance on a single or few primary energy sources. It will be revised in line with the changing energy sector environment.”

The IRP will be gazetted and made accessible through the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy of South Africa’s website. The country’s Energy Minister, Hon. Gwede Mantashe, will share key aspects of the approved energy plan during a media briefing in Pretoria on October 18.

The conclusion of the IRP comes just days after the country’s utility company, Eskom, began rolling blackouts across the country as it repairs tube leaks at five of its generating units.

Following the announcement of the approval, South Africa’s rand strengthened, proving the impacts of the energy plan on the country’s economy.

“The news comes as a great relief after months of uncertainty, in the midst of yet another round of load shedding implemented by Eskom on Wednesday, which is expected to last well into next week,” said Bianca Botes, Treasury Partner at Peregrine Treasury Solutions.

“The financial situation of Eskom and its ability to sustain electricity supply to SA will ultimately drive foreign direct investment as well as economic growth in this country.”

Last week, during the fourth Africa Oil & Power conference, Minister Mantashe said the IRP would be concluded this week and highlighted the potential investment that could come as a result of a finalized IRP, which represents a key component of South Africa’s energy strategy and invited investors to enter the South African market.