Reliable, cost-effective electricity is vital not only to improving people’s lives but to the economy’s ability to attract investment and create jobs. Our Integrated Resource Plan must be carefully calibrated to ensure energy security is not compromised. In particular, a rapid and aggressive transition away from coal will put the entire economy at risk. We need to strike the right balance. SA’s current draft Integrated Resource Plan is too ambitious; attempts to meet the targets could have serious consequences. It is important to recognise that coal provides 76% of SA’s energy at present, and the country is still investing large amounts of money in new coal generation. In addition, the country has large reserves of coal. It is important that the nation gets a proper return on its investment in this technology. At the same time, the coal industry employs 82,000 people earning more than R22bn a year and supports economic activity related to its value chain valued at R61bn a year. It i...

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