IRP2019 energy project authorised, rand rallies

17 Oct 2019

Rand The South African government has authorised a proposal for South Africa’s planned energy project.

Following its fortnightly meeting on Thursday October 17, Cabinet said in a statement that the Integrated Resource Plan (IRP2019) brings forward nine interventions that will tackle all the country’s energy-related needs for the next ten years. 

Back in August 2018, Cabinet authorised the publication of the provisional IRP2018 for public viewing and scrutiny, which took place in the following next three months between September and November of the same year. 

Most of the feedback from the public viewing was included in the revised proposal this year. Academics, experts from the energy industry, relevant stakeholders including the National Economic Development and Labour Council (Nedlac) and the Portfolio Committee on Energy all provided contributions. 

“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,” Cabinet said. 

The very first IRP in South Africa was released in March 2011. At the time, it was instructed that the IRP be considered a “living plan” which should be reviewed often. 

On Friday, Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe is due to inform the media on the authorisation of the IRP2019. 

Treasury Partner Bianca Botes of Peregrine Treasury Solutions said: “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.

“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.”

On the heels of the news, the rand surged against other major currencies, climbing over 0.9%. As of 12:30 local time on Thursday, the African currency was trading at R14.80 against the dollar, R16.45 against the euro and R19.13 against the pound.