Gwede Mantashe, the Mining and Energy Minister of South Africa said on Thursday that South Africa should not rush to move away from coal-fired power production. He said that the transition away from coal power generation to renewable energy sources must be systematic and gradual.
Mantashe said that he was not talking about coal for ever, he was saying that they must manage their transition step by step, rather than being emotional. He was replying to a question raised by the local media, about the effect of China’s pledge, not to fund new coal power stations, would have on South Africa.
At the Joburg Indaba virtual mining conference, he stated that South Africa was not a developed economy, and they had no access to all the alternative sources for energy. South Africa targets to cut its coal-fired power production to less than 60 percent by the year of 2030 by also increasing the share of wind and solar energy by 25 percent.
The minister said that Xi Jinping, the Chinese President was increasing their import of coal, as a result of sudden attempts to transition from coal power to renewable power. Mantashe said that he supported ‘green financing’ as it would help support Africa’s energy transition.