Does coal have a place in Southern Africa's future energy mix? We hosted a live debate around the question at the heart of Africa's industrial economic growth.

In the first of a series of collaborative webinars between ESI-Africa and Mining Review Africa, we heard from a panel of industry experts and opened the floor for discussion with our live audience.

Should investors be putting money into coal mines? Can coal and renewable energy be complimentary? Is clean coal a reality? Is renewable energy infrastructure affordable enough to discard coal? These proposals were intensely scrutinized.

The webinar was moderated by Mining Review Africa editor Laura Cornish - who also chaired a session on this topic at Investing in African Mining Indaba  - and ESI-Africa editor Nicolette Pombo-van Zyl.S

Access the recording here

Speakers included:

Vuslat Bayoglu, Managing Director, Menar Capital

Vuslat is the founder and managing director of Menar Capital which has controlling stakes in Canyon Coal, Zululand Anthracite Colliery, Sitatunga Resources and Kangra Coal. He is a hands-on investor with over 16 years’ experience in the mining industry.

Silas Zimu, former energy adviser in the presidency, South Africa

Silas Mzingeli Zimu started his energy career at Eskom in 1992 where he worked as an engineer in the generation group and joined City Power as a general manager - planning and technology thereafter. Silas has extensive experience in both business and strategic management. He holds a B. Eng. Honours degree in Electrical and Electronic Engineering and an Msc in Engineering Management.

Ted Blom, Mining & Energy Advisor, South Africa

Ted Blom is a senior energy and mining and commodities strategist and tactician with a master's degree in Business from Wits Business School, Commercial and Law degrees from the University of Port Elizabeth, and a PMD from Harvard Business School. In addition Ted completed his Mineral Economics qualification under the auspices of Professor Dennis Buchanan from Imperial College of Mining, London. Ted has over 27 years’ experience in management, mining, commodities and strategy execution and has led numerous investigations and projects in both the mining and energy spheres. He advises, lectures and consults worldwide to companies, sovereign funds, hedge funds, investment banks, government mining ministries, investors and stakeholders.