JOHANNESBURG, Feb.19 (Xinhua) -- With South Africa trying to revive its sluggish economy, energy is expected to play a significant part, South African Energy Minister Jeff Radebe told delegates at the Africa Energy Indaba conference on Tuesday.
Following rolling power outages last week that affected businesses, Radebe said the event takes place when the nation is "reflecting on burning energy issues" and wooing investors.
"Our priorities in South Africa are clear, the one is unemployment. Energy can play a catalytic role in improving economic growth and technology is key," the minister said.
Delegates also heard that around 600 million people within Africa still lack access to energy. Ensuring adequate energy access in Africa is important in developing its economy.
Radebe said that South Africa has connected over 8 millions households to the power grid since 1994, but 3 million more are still without electricity.
With state firm Eskom planning to hike electricity tariffs, Radebe said the country is considering cheaper options to generate electricity.
The two-day event kicked off in Johannesburg under the theme "attracting investment into the African energy sector". Ministers of Energy, CEO's and other leading players all over the continent have gathered to find solutions to energy problems facing Africa.