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‘SA’s oceans could create 1 million jobs’

Jacob Zuma says if managed, SA’s oceans can potentially add R177 billion to the country’s GDP by 2033.

President Jacob Zuma. Picture: Elmond Jiyane

CAPE TOWN - President Jacob Zuma says if exploited and managed properly, South Africa's oceans could add 1 million jobs to the economy and R177 billion to the country's Gross Domestic Product by 2033.

Zuma has outlined ambitious plans for oil and gas exploration in coastal waters that he says could contain as much as 9 billion barrels of crude and vast quantities of natural gas.

The president says government wants 30 exploration wells drilled in the next 10 years.

But he has stressed there is 'significant uncertainty' about the extent of hydro-carbon resources in South Africa's waters, some of the last unexplored stretches of the continent's energy-rich coastline.

Last month Managing Director of EE Publishers Chris Yelland says the Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) looks at different supply options of energy to meet electricity demands in the next 20 years.

Speaking to the Redi Thlabi Show, Yelland said that along with nuclear, the IRP has also taken into consideration hydro, gas and renewable energy.