News


IRP 2023 could reset SA’s social and economic problems

April 2024 News

ACTOM recently held a webinar on the ‘Draft IRP2023 Impact on the Manufacturing Sector’. South Africa’s Draft Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) 2023 is a key document that outlines a comprehensive strategy for addressing the country’s energy security challenges, while also setting out its transition to a diversified energy mix, including renewables.

The Draft IRP 2023 has faced criticism from some quarters for having gaps in its roadmap to shaping a sustainable energy future, but it also has several strengths and can potentially unlock various benefits for the country and specifically the manufacturing sector.

Low levels of manufacturing activity

It comes at a time when South Africa is facing significant social and energy challenges. The loss of jobs and retention of scarce skills has been felt by the manufacturing sector, due to the low levels of activity in manufacturing during the past 10 years, with many companies having to scale down and even close because of a lack of loading.

The IRP 2023 talks to very modest projections for renewable energy projects coming onstream and introduces gas-to-power to the energy mix, with coal remaining a significant energy source alongside hydro, storage and hydrogen projects. However, the plan does bring the potential to create investment opportunities, foster local skills development, generate job opportunities, and establish valuable partnerships within the manufacturing sector.

Considering that there has been a stop-start approach to the government’s Renewable Independent Power Producer Programme (REIPPP) in the past, certain key factors must be considered with the implementation of the IRP 2023.

Firstly, there must be discipline and decisiveness in the implementation of the programme. Secondly, the scale of the investment that will be required must be aggressively targeted towards maximising localisation and the reindustrialisation of South Africa. At the same time, a strategic medium- to long-term procurement framework will be required where manufacturers look at things from an ‘SA Inc’ perspective.

Strategic procurement models

Going forward, it will be critical for the manufacturing sector to use the demand it does have and leverage it to move towards strategic procurement models to maximise the saturation of the capacity in local factories. This is not only needed for the sake of the country, but also to make business cases bankable for investment to grow manufacturing.

Similarly, South Africa’s Integrated Development Plan (IDP) and Transmission Development Plan (TDP) both have major potential to turn around the country’s jobs and economic woes. The TDP has identified the need to build over 14 000 km of transmission line and associated substations, as well as the need to build renewable energy projects. This has the potential to turn the tide for the manufacturing sector.

However, we must ensure that we learn lessons from the mistakes of the past, specifically from the Transnet 1064 locomotive programme, which saw a lack of investment in local manufacturing; about half the locomotives acquired were not localised. This means that we not only lost the opportunity to build capacity for local manufacturing, but also lost the aftermarket support for that locomotive fleet, and this has manifested in the logistics challenges that we see in South Africa today.

This is relevant for the implementation of the IRP 2023 because we need to ensure that we do not end up with mass imports to the detriment of the local manufacturing sector and to the detriment of our ability to support the aftermarket repairs and services of these products.

Ultimately, we need continuous engagement between industry and key stakeholders for the benefit of our country. We must adopt an SA Inc perspective on what we are about to embark on in terms of the IRP 2023, the IDP and the TDP. We are effectively looking at energy transmission and generation demand that could map out a sustainable manufacturing industry for the next 10 to 30 years. We must get this right.

For more information contact ACTOM, +27 10 136 0216, [email protected], www.actom.co.za




Share this article:
Share via emailShare via LinkedInPrint this page

Further reading:

Moore Process Controls is moving ahead
Moore Process Controls News
Moore Process Controls was established in South Africa in 1985, migrating from a local agent for Moore Products in the USA to a multi-faceted company with a wide range of automation and optimisation capabilities.

Read more...
BMG’s machine tools on show at Machine Tools Africa
Bearing Man Group t/a BMG News
BMG will be participating at the Machine Tools Africa exhibition. Its stand will showcase the company’s comprehensive range of quality branded tools and equipment, which has been carefully selected by specialists, to meet the exact requirements of customers in diverse sectors.

Read more...
Enlit Africa reimagines energy security in Africa
News
The prestigious Enlit Africa 2024 exhibition has the goal of addressing the very real energy security concerns felt by companies across Africa.

Read more...
From the editor's desk: The digital deluge
Technews Publishing (SA Instrumentation & Control) News
One of the issues arising out of our newfound ability to generate our own electricity is the ability to store it. BESS systems are the order of the day, and we regularly run stories on this new development. ...

Read more...
Turck Banner welcomes Ivan De Waal as new managing director
Turck Banner Southern Africa News
Turck Banner Southern Africa is pleased to announce the appointment of Ivan De Waal as its new managing director.

Read more...
University of Pretoria unveils immersive technology laboratory
News
The University of Pretoria’s faculty of Engineering, Built Environment and Information Technology is proud to announce the launch of its new Immersive Technology Lab at the Department of Information Science. This cutting-edge facility marks a significant milestone in the university’s journey towards integrating advanced immersive technologies into its curriculum and research initiatives.

Read more...
IS3 X-Change 2024 conference
News
X-Change is an annual gathering of tech enthusiasts, industry leaders and visionaries pushing the boundaries of innovation. Join IS3 for an immersive experience that celebrates the latest in technology and fosters networking opportunities, and discover how your organisation can benefit from AVEVA software and the IS3 industry solution partner ecosystem.

Read more...
Exploring the role of AI in recruitment
News
In an era defined by rapid technological advancements, the integration of AI is proving to be transformative across various industries. Thankfully, and in contradiction to what many people believe, AI enhances many functions, rather than replacing real people.

Read more...
Celebrating three decades of innovation in Africa's premier industrial software conference
News
With a rich 29-year history, the X-Change User Conference stands as Africa's largest and most prestigious annual gathering dedicated to industrial software and related technology. Hosted by Industry Software Solutions & Support (IS3), this year, X-Change 2024 promises to be even more impactful as it celebrates three decades of innovation and collaboration.

Read more...
4Sight OT Automation achieves prestigious AVEVA Endorsed Partner status
News
4Sight OT Automation, a leading industrial software solutions provider, has achieved Endorsed Partner status within the AVEVA Partner Network.

Read more...