South Africa’s SOE’s lead by example

13 September 2021

South Africa’s state-owned enterprises (SOEs) have been instrumental in driving growth and development across multiple facets of the energy sector. The relevant entities have not only taken a proactive stance in enhancing South Africa’s domestic capacity but have been key drivers of the regional energy sector and economic growth. With a comprehensive National Development Plan targeting accelerated economic development through energy infrastructure investment, the establishment of a consistent energy supply to meet domestic needs, and the diversification of power sources and ownership, South Africa’s SOEs are leading the way in Africa’s energy growth and positioning South Africa as a competitive sector on the global stage. 

South Africa’s largest SOE, Eskom, is responsible for the generation, transmission, and distribution of electricity-generating approximately 95% of the electricity used in the country and 45% of the electricity used in Africa. In addition to domestic power activities, the company both exports and imports electricity across neighboring countries within the Southern Africa Power Pool. With a strategic objective to establish energy security, expand access to electricity and spur socio-economic growth and prosperity, Eskom has been gradually improving South Africa’s power sector and has relied on regional collaboration to do so.

Meanwhile, South Africa’s SOEs have made significant progress within the oil and gas sector, prioritizing the exploration, acquisition, and development of appropriate energy solutions to meet the future energy needs of South Africa. Most notably, the Central Energy Fund (CEF) – a Schedule 2 state-owned diversified energy company that reports to the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE) – has played an instrumental role in the country’s energy sector transformation. With a vision to reduce South Africa’s overdependence on multinationals, and to act as a vehicle for economic growth and poverty alleviation through established energy security and reliable supply, the CEF has accelerated growth across the entire energy value chain.