Mineral Resources and Energy deputy minister Dr Nobuhle Nkabane has encouraged learners to pursue careers in energy and mining as the country transitions towards a low carbon economy.
The deputy minister was speaking to learners in Taung, in the North West.
â€œ(The) Integrated Resource Plan of 2019 commits the department to work towards a just energy transition that recognises the important role that all energy sources play in ensuring energy security for our nation.
â€œThis means that the needs of the energy transition must take into account the various development concerns facing our country, particularly where we have coal stations earmarked for retirement at the end of their lifespan to be replaced with renewable energy sources.
â€œThe entire energy transition exercise requires a host of skills, including environmentalists so that the transition itself is informed by science or facts,â€ she said on Tuesday.
She encouraged the learners to pursue Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) as subjects in order to add to a pool of skills required to guide the country during the just energy transition.
â€œSouth Africa is poised to increase operational activities in both the mining and energy sectors amongst others resulting in beneficiation of our minerals and diversification of our energy sources.
â€œAll these processes will not be possible without the requisite skills. It is important that you study in areas that are of high demand in the economy so as to limit the influx of jobless graduates. I am confident that with a focus on STEM subjects, the entire world will be your oyster,â€ she said.
The Deputy Minister added that the department is also seeking to accelerate transformation in the energy and mining sectors.
â€œThe work we do as the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy is to champion policy formulation, monitoring, enforcement and evaluation within the mineral and energy environment, in order to achieve various levels of development objectives.
â€œAmongst those policy development objectives is transforming the mineral and energy sectors to reflect the various socioeconomic demographics of our country as enjoined by the Constitution of our republic,â€ she said.