MINERALS and energy minister, Gwede Mantashe, has been accused of being a “coal fundamentalist”, but that label is incorrect, said Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE) director-general, Thabo Makoena.
He was participating in a discussion, on the sidelines of the Investing in African Mining Indaba in Cape Town, with Minerals Council SA CEO, Roger Baxter, on the unification of the departments of energy and minerals and the DMRE’s policy on the just transition away from fossil fuel energy.
Makoena said it was true that the minister did not want to do away with coal abruptly. But the country’s Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) to 2030 made it clear that coal will be phased out over the next decades. The minister’s approach was that the transition had to be made in a way that addresses domestic challenges as well as climate change commitments.