Energy minister Gwede Mantashe. Picture: BUSINESS DAY/FREDDY MAVUNDA
Energy minister Gwede Mantashe. Picture: BUSINESS DAY/FREDDY MAVUNDA

Energy minister Gwede Mantashe upped the ante in his battle to retain a plan to build more coal plants, saying a trip to court would be well worth the effort. 

“I know that we’re going to end up in court for it,” he told reporters at the Africa Energy Week conference in Cape Town on Tuesday. “Everything we do you end up in court, but I think we should.”

Mantashe is at the centre of a fight over whether coal should remain part of SA’s future energy mix rather than more climate-friendly options. Envoys from the UK, US and the EU flew to SA in October to offer billions of dollars in concessional loans and grants to ditch the plans for coal, though Mantashe did not meet them.

The construction of 1,500MW of new coal capacity has been included in the Integrated Resources Plan and should be retained, the minister earlier told reporters. That would allow for the development of cleaner coal technology that could prolong use of the fuel, he said. 

Mantashe said that plans to consider exploiting recent gas discoveries required new funding, .

The battle over how to increase the country’s energy supply comes amid another week of load-shedding.

Bloomberg News. More stories like this are available on bloomberg.com

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