South Africa’s natural and mineral resource wealth is poised to usher in a new era of electrification and industrialization across the southern African economy. However, this potential will never be realized unless significant investment is directed towards the exploration and production of hydrocarbons, the expansion of renewable energy and power systems, and the distribution of energy on a regional basis. Eager to unlock the full potential of the South African energy market, Calib Cassim, Interim CEO of South African state-owned power utility Eskom has joined the African Energy Week (AEW) conference as a keynote speaker.
During the event – which is dubbed the largest gathering of energy stakeholders on the continent – Cassim will outline the utility’s strategy for advancing power supply in South Africa. His engagement in panel discussions and contribution towards critical topics will help support investor decision-making while promoting the role South African energy will play in scaling up energy security in Africa.
Appointed interim CEO of Eskom in February 2023, Cassim previously served as CFO at the utility between 2017 and 2023. A registered Chartered Accountant with over 20 years of service in Eskom, Cassim brings a level of expertise to discussions around South Africa’s power sector. Cassim offers a deep understanding of the country’s power market, including the challenges associated with financing operations and expanding the industry. At a time when the industry desperately needs investment and a forward-looking development approach, experts such as Cassim will be integral.
Despite representing a coal-dominant power market, South Africa offers a wealth of opportunities across various sectors of its energy mix. The country made two major gas discoveries in 2019 and 2020 – Brulpadda and Luiperd – and shares the geological Orange Basin with Namibia, where five large-scale hydrocarbon finds were made since 2022. Onshore, South Africa’s natural gas opportunities are abundant, with the Karoo basin alone estimated to hold up to 209 trillion cubic feet.
On the renewables front, the country is making progress to expand the development of both small- and large-scale clean energy systems, with regulatory frameworks such as the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Program driving progress. Eskom, with a mandate to improve base-load power, is targeting larger investments, and is inviting partners to help drive projects across the green hydrogen, hydrocarbon and coal markets. At AEW 2023, Cassim will leverage his experience and potential of the South African energy market to discuss the challenges and opportunities for power and infrastructure investors in South Africa.
“South Africa’s energy crisis will best be solved through significant investment made across the entire energy value chain. The country is rich in oil, natural gas, renewables, coal, and minerals, and has a duty to incentivize expenditure, cut red tape and get projects online. South Africa has the chance to lead Africa’s agenda of securing energy in the age of the energy transition,” stated NJ Ayuk, Executive Chairman of the AEC.
During AEW 2023, Cassim will engage with regional governments, global investor and technology providers on the best approach to addressing the country’s energy crisis. His participation in panel discussions and power forums will help foster new strategies for increasing investment, driving development and expanding the regional power market for a sustainable future.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of African Energy Chamber.
AEW is the AEC’s annual conference, exhibition and networking event. AEW 2023 will unite African energy policymakers and stakeholders with global investors to discuss and maximize opportunities within the continent’s entire energy industry. For more information about AEW 2023, visit https://AECWeek.com.