While challenges remain in South Africa’s energy sector, Energy Minister Jeff Radebe is confident that the sector is poised for growth, if invested in.

“The South African energy sector is poised to grow. The country needs the finance, technology and skills to increase the electricity generation capacity,” he said.

Speaking at the Nordic Countries Breakfast meeting held during Africa Utility Week at Cape Town’s Convention Centre, the Minister said investments in the sector should ensure job creation.

“Energy infrastructure projects are therefore regarded at the highest level of government as key to attracting investments into our country and growing the economy.”

In addition, the investments, he said, should ensure industrialisation and development of energy equipment manufacturing.

The Minister said the South African economy has not been growing, adding that the energy sector is the engine to economic growth and needs investments.

“Partnerships between the private sector and government need to be intensified as a necessity. With respect to the South African example, we might have attained some success in public-private partnerships in the renewable energy sector, yet there is still opportunity to be innovative in other areas like energy research, localization of value chains, and financing.”

On energy constraints, the Minister said government is aware that the energy sector is constrained while energy needs are on the rise.

“If the economy has to grow, our generation capacity has to increase now. In addition, our electricity infrastructure is old and in need of more investments.

“The energy sector in South Africa, like the global energy sector, is going through a transition where we have to ensure that as we increase generation of clean, accessible, affordable, secure and sustainable energy for all,” he said.