The South African energy sector is facing similar challenges to the global energy sector. Years of under-investment in supply-side infrastructure and rapidly growing energy demand outstripping supply are leading to supply/demand instability, resulting in severe market constraints. Ageing energy assets are nearing or have reached their ‘best-before date’, putting additional pressure on an already-precarious supply/demand balance. Logistical constraints are exacerbating the supply-side crisis, resulting in disruptions and blackouts.
South Africa faces many challenges in terms of basic services delivery and job creation. Economic growth is fundamental to providing a meaningful solution to these challenges, yet economic growth relies on the reliable and secure supply of energy. Energy is taken for granted and is regarded as a basic right in many societies. Consequently, governments often take a leading and strategic role in developing energy supply and logistical infrastructure. In many instances, this has resulted in subsidised production costs and administered prices of basic energy carriers.