Within a context of increasing oil scarcity, oil importing countries such as South Africa need indeed to prepare for oil price and supply shocks. The recent TIPS Development Dialogue Seminar, Oil Shock in South Africa: Vulnerabilities, Impacts and Mitigation Strategies, looked at research on oil shock mitigation strategies for developing countries, with South Africa as a case study.
The main presenter, Dr Jeremy Wakeford from the Association for the Study of Peak Oil and Gas (ASPO) South Africa, highlighted potential mitigation strategies for the country, particularly in energy, transport and agriculture. This included preparing for both short-term oil shocks – precipitated for example by geopolitical or extreme weather events – and long-term strategies to ensure energy and specifically liquid fuel supply security in a context of global oil depletion, declining world oil exports, falling energy return on investment, and increasing oil price volatility. Discussant Bongani Motsa, from the Department of Energy, focused on the economics and structure of fuel pricing in South Africa, including the role of the rand.
The general discussion raised the urgency of implementing existing strategies and action plans. Participants emphasised the need to align individual and societal behaviours as well as policy- and decision-making processes with the long-term transition needed to cope with developments in the oil industry and rising environmental concerns. For copies of the presentations click here.