South Africas energy situation is quite unique. It’s a more or less developed economy at the end of the world far from usually shipping lanes. It’s at the tip of a continent that has still a long way to go. Aside from coal it does not have significant energy resources (although this might change now). But those are all insignificant as compared to the biggest problem of all. It is permeated by a thick and asphyxiating cobweb of regulation, affirmative action, identity politics and straight corruption on an epic scale. Business is not business there – business is about who you know and where you cut yourself a piece. It’s not about serving customers but about getting access to the big governmental redistribution machine. New oil and gas will offer some help, but its not the solution. This must come from South Africans.
South Africa’s first deep-water discovery, reported Thursday by French oil major Total SA, may prompt a rush of activity offshore by competitors as the country works to cut its reliance on imported fuels.