Rand jumps on news of South Africa’s new energy plan

Government has approved the Integrated Resource Plan (IRP2019) which provides a blueprint for South Africa’s envisaged energy mix.

In a statement following its fortnightly meeting on Thursday (17 October), Cabinet said the IRP2019 proposes nine interventions that respond to the country’s energy needs for the next decade.

In August 2018, Cabinet approved the release of the draft IRP2018 for public consultations, which took place between September and November 2018.

Most of the inputs received from the public, academics, experts from the energy sector and relevant stakeholders such as the National Economic Development and Labour Council (Nedlac) and the Portfolio Committee on Energy, were included in the IRP2019.

“The plan remains within the policy framework of pursuing a diversified energy mix that reduces reliance on a single or few primary energy sources. It will be revised in line with the changing energy sector environment,” said Cabinet.

The first IRP for South Africa was promulgated in March 2011. It was indicated at the time that the IRP should be a “living plan”, which would be revised frequently.

Meanwhile, Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe is expected to brief media on the approval of the IRP2019 on Friday.

Rand jumps

“The news comes as a great relief after months of uncertainty, in the midst of yet another round of load shedding implemented by Eskom on Wednesday, which is expected to last well into next week,” said Bianca Botes, Treasury Partner at Peregrine Treasury Solutions.

“The financial situation of Eskom and its ability to sustain electricity supply to SA will ultimately drive foreign direct investment as well as economic growth in this country.

The news saw the rand rally against major currencies, gaining over 0.9%.

At 12h30 on Thursday, the local currency was trading at:

  • R14.80/dollar;
  • R16.45/euro;
  • R19.13/pound.

Read: Eskom load shedding is costing the economy as much as R5 billion a day

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Rand jumps on news of South Africa’s new energy plan