Industry Champion Yugen Pillay

Energy & natural resources

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The Energy and Natural resources sector is an enabler for economic growth and stability. The South African energy sector is dominated by coal, which is plentiful and cheap and is ranked among the lowest energy costs in the world. While the abundance of mineral resources accounts for a significant proportion of world production and reserves.

Apart from coal, which contributed around 69% to the total primary energy supply in 2016, South Africa gets energy locally from biomass, such as wood and dung, natural gas, hydro-power, nuclear power, solar power and wind. Gold remains the most important mineral. South Africa is the world’s largest producer—and reserves are large.

The South African energy supply is dominated by coal which constituted 69% of the primary energy supply in 2016, followed by crude oil with 14% and renewables with 11%. Nuclear contributed 3% while natural gas contributed 3% to the total primary supply during the same period.

Though the country is rich in minerals and energy, there has been a decline in production in natural resources. Government policy on Energy and Natural Resources support for the development, demonstration, and implementation of renewable energy sources for both small and large-scale applications. Despite the ongoing economic challenges, the sector has always been resilient as it has adapted, evolved, and changed to meet ongoing significant challenges.

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