Balanced energy supply and security cornerstones for economic growth

7th March 2024

Balanced energy supply and security cornerstones for economic growth

RBIDZ COO Muzi Shange

Sufficient supply of energy drives industrial development and socio-economic growth hence the Richards Bay Industrial Development Zone (RBIDZ) is at the centre of driving investment attraction and accelerating energy related projects.

The Integrated Resource Plan developed by the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE) guides the diversification of energy mix required to provide sufficient energy supply. Added to the mix is gas, which is regarded as a transition fuel to support a large penetration of renewables identified as a contributor towards dealing with the energy crisis faced by the country.

Overall, the issue of energy escalates to various facets such as security, unemployment, poverty, under-development and stagnant economic growth owing to underperformance and  disruption of operations in manufacturing industries and other sectors.

“Energy security is the cornerstone to keeping economies running and the risk of insufficient supply is one that the country cannot afford to have,” emphasises RBIDZ COO Muzi Shange.

“The execution of the RBIDZ mandate cannot be realised where issues of energy are uncertain. Energy security is one of the primary factors that drive intent for investing, decision making and location identification by investors; therefore, assurance in this regard is vital for domestic and foreign direct investments into our Zone and the province of KwaZulu–Natal.  Increase of operational locators and production in export commodities depend on security of energy and supply,” remarks Shange. 

In response to the energy crisis and guided by the Energy Action Plan, the company is driving numerous energy projects, and this is motivated by the  DMRE’s acknowledgements and announcements that proclaimed the Richards Bay area as a suitable location for natural energy-related projects supported by existing infrastructure.

“We are further cognisant that the energy transition must incorporate social interventions such as extensive engagements with both public and private sector including communities, skilling and reskilling of people, creating opportunities for communities to thrive as well as ensuring that social compacts are in order to secure support from all role players,” concludes Shange.