SA remains reliant on fossil fuels, says Joemat-Pettersson

She says although SA is committed to a low-carbon economy, it remains reliant on fossil fuels.

FILE: Energy Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson. Picture Ilze-Marie Le Roux/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - Energy Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson says although South Africa is committed to a low-carbon economy, it remains reliant on fossil fuels.

The Minister today announced two preferred bidders that will produce electricity from coal.

The programme allows the private sector to generate energy using coal resources for the first time.

Joemat-Pettersson says, alongside G20 countries last year, South Africa has affirmed its commitment to a cleaner energy future.

"Given South Africa's current economic reality, our development-focused and available resources we have to take a pragmatic approach."

She says investment in baseload capacity remains a necessity to ensure the production of more than 16,000 megawatts from coal needed before 2030, some of which will be produced independently.

"Thabametsi and Khanyisa will collectively add 863.3 megawatts to the country's grid in the next five years."

Joemat-Pettersson says more than R40 billion worth of funding shows investor confidence in coal programmes.