Oil Shock in South Africa: Vulnerabilities, Impacts and Mitigation Strategies

  • Date: Thursday, 11 April 2013
  • Venue: TIPS Office, 227 Lange Street, Nieuw Muckleneuk, Pretoria.
  • Main Speakers: Main presenter: Jeremy Wakeford, Association for the Study of Peak Oil and Gas (ASPO) South Africa Discussant: Bongani Motsa, Department of Energy



The International Energy Agency stated in its World Energy Outlook 2012 that global conventional crude oil production peaked in 2008. Total world oil exports have been stagnant since 2005 as oil exporting countries consume more of their own output and some battle against depletion. Unconventional oil production is growing, but the economic and environmental costs are large and the net energy return is very low. The Middle East North Africa region, home to the largest share of remaining oil reserves, is in political turmoil, threatening disruptions to oil supplies.  

Within this context, oil importing countries such as South Africa need to prepare for oil price and supply shocks. This Development Dialogue will interrogate research being undertaken for the UK Department for International Development on "oil shock mitigation strategies for developing countries", with SA as a case study. The focus includes preparations 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. This Dialogue is of relevance to not only to the energy sector, but also to transport, macro-economics, trade and industry, and agriculture.

About the speakers

Jeremy Wakeford: Dr Jeremy Wakeford is an economist specialising in energy and sustainability. He is a Senior Lecturer Extra- Ordinary in the School of Public Leadership at Stellenbosch University and consults to government departments, private sector clients and NGOs. He is currently leading a research project developing 'oil shock mitigation strategies for developing countries', commissioned by the UK's Department for International Development. 

Bongani Motsa: Mr Bongani Motsa is a macro-economist specialist at the Department of Energy. He is part of the team that is developing the Integrated Energy Plan (IEP) for South Africa. Prior to joining the Department, he worked on African economic integration for Trade and Industrial Policy Strategies (TIPS). He holds a Master's degree in economics (majoring in econometrics) from the University of Pretoria.