South Africa’s Department of Energy (DoE) confirmed on Monday that it would consult with labour, business and community stakeholders about extending the consultation period for the draft integrated resource plan, or IRP2010, beyond the original 30 days and reported that the energy regulator would be requested to host public hearings in all nine provinces.
The date for the public hearings, which were scheduled to begin later this month, would also be reviewed and would be held for more than the two days originally scheduled – the National Energy Regulator of South Africa, or Nersa, would host the provincial road shows.
The proposed revision to the comment period arose following Friday’s meeting of the Presidential Advisory Council on Electricity, which was chaired by Deputy PresidentKgalema Motlanthe.
At the meeting, key civil society actors called for the comment period to be extended, owing to the complex nature of the plan, which would outline South Africa’s power generation choices for the next 20 years.
But the DoE said that it had also taken note of Motlanthe’s call that the IRP2010 be finalised before the end of the year.
“In giving due credence to the processes of finding the correct balance between the urgent need to finalise the IRP2010 and the thorough engagement of civil society, we wish to advise members of the public that we are commencing with the process of consulting all relevant National Economic Development and Labour Council constituencies to determine the appropriate period for consultation,” the Doe said in a statement.