In South Africa, energy security and sustainability are vital components for economic growth and overall development. The Central Energy Fund (CEF), a Schedule 2 state-owned diversified energy company, plays a pivotal role in ensuring the country’s energy supply while promoting strategic partnerships and supporting policy development. With a rich history dating back to the 1950s, the CEF has made significant contributions to the South African economy and remains a key player in the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy’s initiatives.
The Mandate of CEF
The primary mandate of the CEF is to contribute to the security of energy supply in South Africa and the region. This objective is achieved through various strategies, including exploration, acquisition, development, marketing, and strategic partnerships. By diversifying the use of primary energy resources, the CEF aims to provide affordable and accessible energy solutions while reducing the country’s dependence on multinational companies. Additionally, the CEF aligns with the government’s broader objectives, acting as a vehicle for economic growth, poverty alleviation, and economic transformation.
Role in Policy Development and Regulation
As a strategic partner to the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy, the CEF provides valuable insights in support of policy development and regulation. By operating across the entire energy value chain, the CEF minimizes market failures and actively contributes to energy policy development and other related initiatives. Furthermore, the CEF focuses on reducing overdependence on multinationals, securing energy supply in liquid fuels and gas, and promoting the deployment of new energy technologies in the country.
Composition of the CEF Group
The CEF Group operates throughout the energy sector value chain, overseeing wholly-owned subsidiaries and minority interests in renewable energy ventures. The subsidiaries under CEF include:
African Exploration Mining and Finance Corporation (AEMFC): AEMFC mines coal in Mpumalanga for supply to Eskom, the national electricity public utility.
iGAS: iGAS is a shareholder in the Mozambique-to-South Africa gas pipeline and is involved in the development of other gas delivery projects.
Petroleum Agency South Africa (PASA): PASA serves as the national petroleum and gas promotion and licensing agency.
PetroSA: PetroSA, the largest subsidiary of the CEF Group, operates a gas-to-liquids refinery using indigenous gas as feedstock. It is also a partner in a producing oil field in Ghana.
South African Strategic Fuel Fund (SFF): SFF manages strategic crude oil infrastructure, strategic crude oil stocks, and provides oil pollution control services in Saldanha Bay.
Global Footprint and Investments
The CEF Group has expanded its business operations, investments, and strategic partnerships across two continents and four countries. These activities encompass oil and gas, technology and gas infrastructure, mining, and renewables, creating a diversified portfolio in line with the Group’s strategy. The countries where the CEF Group is active include South Africa, Mozambique, and Ghana.
The CEF Group operates within the framework of various legislative acts and regulations that define its strategic thrust and operational effectiveness. These include the CEF Act of 1977, Petroleum Products Act of 1977, Electricity Act of 1987, Public Finance Management Act of 1999, Gas Act of 2001, Petroleum Pipelines Act of 2003, National Energy Regulator Act of 2004, National Energy Act of 2008, Companies Act of 2008, National Environmental Management Act of 2009, Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Amendment Bill of 2013, and International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS).
The Central Energy Fund (CEF) serves as a crucial entity in South Africa’s energy landscape, ensuring energy security, supporting policy development, and contributing to sustainable development. Through its diverse subsidiaries and strategic partnerships, the CEF operates across the energy value chain, promoting the use of primary energy resources and reducing the country’s dependence on multinational corporations. As South Africa continues to prioritize energy security and sustainability, the CEF remains at the forefront, driving economic growth, poverty alleviation, and transformation in the energy sector.