Despite declining prospects and increasing costs of finance, there is a denial that strategic choices must be made between energy supply opportunities and complete disregard that such choices should be informed by energy service needs.
The Presidency has announced and invited media to the Energy Indaba, first mentioned by Minister David Mahlobo on 21 November while addressing Parliament, to take place on 7 and 8 December. Clearly the Department of Energy has budget to be used up - presumably under the provision for official energy planning processes due to be concluded this financial year, although no actual plans, for the energy sector as a whole or the electricity sub-sector, have been released for stakeholder engagement.
Looking at a "confidential draft" programme that appeared online on the morning of 5 December (there has been no agenda from the department) one could imagine that the last 20 years never happened - that the 1998 White Paper on Energy Policy and its commitment to integrated energy planning has yet to be adopted, much less the Energy Act of 2008 making this a statutory requirement.
Key features of the new policy, developed through a three-year consultative process, included making energy services the primary focus...