The South African energy sector is the largest in Africa, with the power sector constituting 40% of the continent’s power generation capacity.
Energy sector in South Africa
The South African energy sector is the largest in Africa, with the power sector constituting 40%
of the continent’s power generation capacity. South Africa’s power generation is heavily reliant
upon coal, which makes up close to 90% of the energy mix.
After years of underinvestment, South Africa’s electricity generation environment has an
extremely tight supply-demand balance. The country’s power generating capacity can no longer
meet demand and plans are in place to boost South Africa’s power capacity.
South Africa’s power utility company, Eskom, is undertaking a £36 billion capital expenditure
programme aimed at bringing an additional 17,000MW of power on stream by 2018 in order to
alleviate the electricity supply challenges.
Further to this, the Integrated Resource Plan for Electricity (IRP) 2010, which is the country’s
electricity strategy, outlines plans to add 41,346 MW of new electricity generating capacity over
the next two decades.
The plan shows a heavy ongoing reliance on coal-fired power, with coal expected to account for
45.9% (41,071MW) of South Africa’s electricity in 2030.
The second largest component of the country’s energy mix in 2030 will be nuclear power which,
at that stage, will represent 12.7% (11,400MW) of the total. The plan envisages the introduction
of additional nuclear capacity from 2023, with a total of six tranches added by 2030 (9,600MW).
The final go ahead has yet to be given for the nuclear programme, but it is estimated that the
overall cost of the project will be between £29 - £70 billion.
The IRP also includes the introduction of significant renewable power by 2030, including wind
power, concentrated solar power, and photovoltaic solar power. Together, these three sources
will therefore contribute 21% of South Africa’s total energy in 2030.
ξ Infrastructure plays a central role in the South African Government's development agenda
with a four year capital expenditure programme of £90 billion.
ξ South Africa is the economic powerhouse of Africa, contributing more than 40% of all
industrial output and accounting for 50% of the continent’s spending power.
ξ Specialised Engineering Services
ξ Education, Training and Skills
ξ Supply of Hi-Tech Equipment
ξ Transmission and Distribution
ξ Nuclear Energy opportunities in areas such as:
ξ New nuclear construction
ξ Advisory and consultancy services
ξ Specialised or technical products
ξ Financial and legal services
ξ Waste management, decommissioning and disposal
Latest export opportunities in the Energy sector
Latest export opportunities in South Africa
Getting into the market
Much of South Africa’s legal, economic and business practices and legislation is based on the
UK equivalents. This makes operating in South Africa less problematic and alien than in other
international markets. Regulatory standards also tend to mirror EU equivalents and the cultural
and historical links are broadly positive in the UK’s favour. In return, the UK receives 4 out of
every 5 South African investment projects in Europe.
South Africa does operate a policy of Broad Based Black Economic Empowerment to redress the
imbalances to black employment under the apartheid regime.
More about doing business in South Africa
Market intelligence is critical when doing business overseas, and UKTI can provide bespoke
market research and support during overseas visits though our chargeable Overseas Market
Introduction Service (OMIS).
To commission research or for general advice about the market, get in touch with our specialists
in country - or contact your local international trade team.
Trade & Investment Adviser
+27 (0)11 537 7225
Trade & Investment Officer
+27 (0)11 537 7226
Contact your local international trade team
UKTI runs a range of events for exporters, including seminars in the UK, trade missions to
overseas markets and support for attendance at overseas trade shows.
Latest events in the Energy sector
Power Gen Africa
Date: 6th - 8th November 2012
Website address: www.powergenafrica.com
Africa Energy Indaba
Date: 19 – 23 February 2013
Website address: www.energyindaba.co.za
Africa Utility Week
Date: 14 - 15 May 2013
Website address: www.african-utility-week.com
More about OMIS and other UKTI services for exporters