The Inclusive Society Institute has embarked on an extensive economic research project, which will culminate in a comprehensive ‘Blueprint for rejuvenating South Africa’s economy’. The methodology includes a series of dialogues with various sectoral stakeholders and policymakers. These dialogues each have two parts to them:
Gaining an understanding from the particular sectors perspective as to what the country needs to correct policy wise
What new initiatives / policies should be introduced to shift the economy onto a higher growth trajectory.
This dialogue with the energy sector was held on Tuesday, 8 February 2022. Some key points raised included, amongst others:
Questions were raised with regard to understanding what’s best in terms of the public good, that is private sector versus public sector dynamics. It relates to the revenues that can be used for the broader societal upliftment.
The lag time between project announcement versus delivery was bemoaned. For example, lengthy, complex and slow regulatory approval, appointments, planning approval, etcetera. In addition, tenders should be geared towards South African entities.
How will the switch to electrical motor vehicles fit into the greater picture of supplying sufficient electrical power?
Several inhibitors were raised:
Cost of labour
The need to shift perspective
Central planning missing in the sector
New opportunity levers need to be rapidly identified
Infrastructure deficiencies means we lose out on opportunities.
Liquid fuels: Refineries closing, other need major overhauls
There seems to be a disjuncture between planning and implementation
Skilled worker shortages – a mismatch between the education curriculum and real economy needs. Model also needs to be overhauled to allow for on the job learning.
Questions were raised with regard to NERSA’s functionality
A full report on the deliberations will be released in due course.