Mantashe: Africa should push harder for oil and gas investment

 Minister Gwede Mantashe
Minister Gwede Mantashe

Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy Gwede Mantashe has said the African continent receives disproportionately low returns for its natural oil and gas endowments and should work to attract strategic investment in this area with single-minded purpose.

Mantashe was speaking at the Africa Oil and Power Conference in Cape Town on Thursday morning. The minister showed strong support for mega energy projects across the continent, highlighting Africa’s lack of development compared to other regions as a reason to keep going.

Mantashe said Africa was endowed with fossil fuels the continent could not stop using abruptly. He said this did not mean that African leaders and investors were denialists when it comes to climate change, but that they subscribed to "a just transition" towards cleaner forms of energy. 

"That just transition, in our view, includes – among others – investment in cleaner coal technologies. In this regard, we have engaged the key role players to support research in cleaner coal technologies. Also important in this transition is a greater focus on the efficient use of energy," said Mantashe.

Mantashe said Africa as a region needed to attract investment in refining hubs throughout the continent, as it already had the natural resources it needed to capitalise off the sub-sector.

"On liquid fuels, it is an anomaly that we continue to import large quantities of diesel and petrol, when so many of our countries are endowed with oil. Importation of refined products drains foreign currency reserves in many of our countries," Mantashe said.

Mantashe said Africa needed to attract investment in refining hubs throughout the continent, like the large refinery complex under construction in Nigeria. The Dangote refinery in Lagos, currently due for completion in 2020, is set to be Africa's biggest.

"We should welcome that. In South Africa we are working closely with Saudi Aramco to conclude a feasibility study into a crude oil refinery and associated petrochemical plants," Mantashe said.

ZAR/USD
17.36
(+0.71)
ZAR/GBP
22.63
(+0.93)
ZAR/EUR
20.45
(+0.43)
ZAR/AUD
12.38
(+0.96)
ZAR/JPY
0.16
(+1.16)
Gold
1936.75
(+1.62)
Silver
25.39
(+2.26)
Platinum
929.00
(+0.92)
Brent Crude
44.46
(-1.09)
Palladium
2133.00
(+1.98)
All Share
57303.48
(+0.24)
Top 40
52987.07
(+0.29)
Financial 15
10189.99
(-0.25)
Industrial 25
76274.75
(+0.99)
Resource 10
58402.02
(-0.47)
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes morningstar logo
Company Snapshot
Voting Booth
Do you think it was a good idea for the government to approach the IMF for a $4.3 billion loan to fight Covid-19?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Yes. We need the money.
11% - 967 votes
It depends on how the funds are used.
74% - 6440 votes
No. We should have gotten the loan elsewhere.
15% - 1332 votes
Vote