Mantashe: Ignore Poverty To Fix Climate Change, and We Will Face a Revolt

re posted from                         EXECUTIVE INTELLIGENCE REVIEW

Mantashe: Ignore Poverty To Fix Climate Change, and We Will Face a Revolt

South Africa’s Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy, Gwede Mantashe, told investors Jan. 25 that the energy transition had to be thought of not only in the context of climate change, but also of persisting energy poverty. He was addressing the North West Mining and Energy Investment Conference in Rustenburg, Tuesday, Jan. 25. Thirteen percent of South Africans still have no access to electricity, he said. If South Africa addressed climate change by becoming a low-carbon economy while ignoring energy poverty, the country would “face a revolt.” “Our people want to access energy, affordable, sustainable, dependable energy,” he said, “then can we talk about how do we clean it.” For this reason, nuclear power is also needed, he said.

Because coal is abundant in South Africa, instead of moving away from coal-fired electricity generation, coal has to be used to navigate South Africa’s energy transition, Mantashe said.

North West Premier Kaobitsa Bushy Maape, in addressing the conference, supported the Minister’s thinking and called for a “new patriotism,” saying we cannot be passive in the presence of suffering.

“Exploration is needed to determine where new mineral reserves are located,” Mantashe said. He warned of a “loud” anti-development movement that was emerging in South Africa. “Their theme is that they will kill investment through the courts and they are funded heavily by foreign entities.”

In December, a court halted by interdict the further seismic exploration for oil by Shell on the Eastern Cape’s Wild Coast, an action that had been sought by environmentalist extremists. Australian geoscience company Searcher now faces a similar legal challenge on the western coast.

Source: EIR Vol. 49, No. 7, February 18, 2022

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