Africa|Africa Energy Indaba|Building|Coal|Cutting|Energy|Eskom|Indaba|Power|Renewable Energy|Renewable-Energy|Resources|Solutions
Africa|Africa Energy Indaba|Building|Coal|Cutting|Energy|Eskom|Indaba|Power|Renewable Energy|Renewable-Energy|Resources|Solutions

Mantashe says SA must not ‘walk away from coal’ as Greenpeace disrupts his Indaba speech

17th March 2023

By: Irma Venter

Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor


Font size: - +

Greenpeace Africa last week disrupted Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe’s opening speech at the Africa Energy Indaba in Cape Town by staging a silent protest in front of the podium.

Five protestors held up yellow placards that declared ‘Coal = Corruption’, ‘Coal = Loadshedding’and ‘Gwede Stop Blocking Renewables’.

The Indaba’s organisers wanted to remove the protestors, but Mantashe insisted that they stayed, noting that doing so would only provide them with the attention they wanted.

Greenpeace Africa told reporters afterwards that the protest was driven by the continued resistance by Mantashe to fast-tracking the addition of new renewable energy to the grid in South Africa, as well as the unprecedented levels of daily loadshedding seen in the country since October last year.

“Coal is a dangerous dead-end pushing South Africa to the brink of destruction, yet almost all of South Africa’s electricity comes from an ancient fleet of coal-fired power stations which are literally falling apart, breaking down more quickly than they can be fixed,” said Greenpeace Africa climate and energy campaigner Thandile Chinyavanhu.

She referred to Mantashe as a “coal fundamentalist”.

“Fast-tracking a shift to renewable energy is clearly the solution . . . but Minister Mantashe is too biased to see the real solutions, and his fossil fuel obsession is literally bringing South Africa to its knees and cannot remain unchallenged. Enough is enough.”

Mantashe noted in his address that cutting coal as an energy source was not Africa’s decision, but that of developed economies.

“We must resist with everything we have. We must develop our economy to the best of our ability.”

Mantashe said the main cause of the current loadshedding crisis was not a shortage of renewable-energy sources, but the suboptimal performance of Eskom’s power stations.

He said the solution to loadshedding in South Africa was fourfold: improving the reliability factor of the current fleet of power stations; accelerating the acquisition of emergency energy; importing energy from neighbouring countries; and focusing on building skills within the power sector.

“That is what we must focus on, not walking away from coal. Coal is going to be with us for a very long time.”

Mantashe said South Africa was indeed focused on lowering its emissions, but that this did not necessarily mean stepping away from the coal it had been endowed with as an energy source.

He emphasised that it was necessary to avoid a polarised debate on energy, noting that the various energy technologies had to “coexist and complement one another”.

He also noted that corruption was everywhere, including in the renewables sector, “I can tell you that”.

Edited by Martin Zhuwakinyu
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor




John Thompson
John Thompson

John Thompson, the leader in energy and environmental solutions through value engineering and innovation, provides the following: design, engineer,...

Werner South Africa Pumps & Equipment (PTY) LTD
Werner South Africa Pumps & Equipment (PTY) LTD

For over 30 years, Werner South Africa Pumps & Equipment (PTY) LTD has been designing, manufacturing, supplying and maintaining specialist...


Latest Multimedia

sponsored by

Option 1 (equivalent of R125 a month):

Receive a weekly copy of Creamer Media's Engineering News & Mining Weekly magazine
(print copy for those in South Africa and e-magazine for those outside of South Africa)
Receive daily email newsletters
Access to full search results
Access archive of magazine back copies
Access to Projects in Progress
Access to ONE Research Report of your choice in PDF format

Option 2 (equivalent of R375 a month):

All benefits from Option 1
Access to Creamer Media's Research Channel Africa for ALL Research Reports, in PDF format, on various industrial and mining sectors including Electricity; Water; Energy Transition; Hydrogen; Roads, Rail and Ports; Coal; Gold; Platinum; Battery Metals; etc.

Already a subscriber?

Forgotten your password?







sq:0.196 0.235s - 90pq - 2rq
1: United States
Subscribe Now
2: United States