The government of South Africa is set to summon coal suppliers to account for their export following concerns on the shortage of coal in the country.
Speaking at parliaments Portfolio Committees on Public Enterprises and Energy, Minister of Public Enterprises Pravin Gordhan confirmed the statement and suggested on prioritizing coal in South Africa rather than export and emphasized on the need of reflection and tracing their roots.
“We need to call some of the big and small coal suppliers and get into the mindsets they operate with and some of the challenges that Eskom would be facing in that particular regard,” said Pravin Gordhan.
“It is not right that you make money outside of the country, and then you dump your customary customer that has kept you going as an industry for over 30,” he added.
Move to supply renewable energy
The Energy Minister also suggested that Eskom move to the supply of renewable energy. “If coal begins to decline slowly for climate change and other reasons, there’s no reason why Eskom should not be a supplier of renewable energy as well and provide competition. It has nuclear and coal in its portfolio. It uses diesel from time to time. It’s an interesting proposition for the committee and the public to start entertaining in some way.”
Eskom CEO Phakamani Hadebe however, defended the company and said that they intend to rebuild its soiled relationship with coal companies which had turned sour over the Gupta years.
“In previous years, that relationship has been spoilt. The first time we began to experience challenges on coal was when we decided not to invest in cost-plus mines. When we didn’t do so, companies looked at other options, and decided to export,” said Phakamani Hadebe noting that the export prices had increased to about US $110/t, luring the coal suppliers to export.