The Local Business Committee (LBC) Nelson Mandela Bay has called for the South African government to maximize opportunities within the municipality’s oil and gas sector to boost the economy and address energy market challenges.
In a press statement, the organization stated that Nelson Mandela Bay’s oil and gas resources – which remain largely untapped – coupled with the municipality’s strategic location and shipping industry has the potential to address looming unemployment rates and drive foreign direct investments and revenue expansion.
However, exploration activities in the municipality have been slow, with no recent activities in the Transkei & Algoa exploration contract and little in the Wild Coast in Morgan’s Bay and St John’s Port. As such, LBC Nelson Mandela has urged the municipal government to kickstart oil and gas exploration discussions and activities in the Algoa Bay with relevant parties including Shell, and regulatory and environmental authorities.
The call comes at a time when the unemployment rate in the bay is estimated at 36.4% and small businesses are continuing to close due to lack of investments. However, South Africa’s estimated oil and gas resources are measured at 27 billion barrels and 60 trillion cubic feet respectively, and have the potential to unlock approximately $10-20 trillion in government revenue through 2050, thereby ensuring economic expansion while driving the country’s net-zero initiatives.
“What is key to this is that these oil and gas deposits need to be proven through precise seismic exploration. As the LBC, we officially declare our support for oil and gas exploration in Algoa Bay,” the press release read.