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National Assembly Of South Africa Passes Electricity Regulation Amendment Bill

March 20, 2024
The bill is meant to 'radically transform the structure of the electricity sector and have a positive impact on future generations.'

The Electricity Regulation Amendment (ERA) bill has been passed in the National Assembly of South Africa. 

According to Gwede Mantashe, Mineral Resources and Energy Minister, the bill will radically transform the structure of the electricity sector and have a positive impact on future generations.

The bill will:

  • Provide for an open market platform allowing competitive electricity trading in South Africa.
  • Make provision for the creation of the Transmission Systems Operator (TSO) to act as a wheeler and dealer of electricity.
  • Strengthen the role of the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (NERSA) to include powers to license entities implementing the competitive market and having regulatory oversight during transitioning to a competitive market.
  • Introduce provisions on offenses and penalties to address the theft and vandalism of electricity infrastructure.

“In keeping with the Batho Pele Principles, the bill went through extensive consultations…including periods for public comments initiated by both the DMRE [Department of Mineral Resources and Energy] and Parliament,” commented Mantashe. “In addition, the Portfolio Committee on Mineral Resources and Energy (PCMRE) conducted physical public hearings on the ERA Bill in all provinces.”

Mantashe extended support to the Portfolio Committee’s view of end-users to be protected from possible price manipulation by market participants and thus requests NERSA to retain the powers to ‘set and approve prices and tariffs whenever necessary.

The minister added that the bill’s adoption is another milestone in the performance of the sixth administration.

“We are, therefore, convinced that the adoption of this Bill will not only give effect to Eskom unbundling reforms, but it will also encourage private sector participation in the electricity industry and thus introduce competition in the industry,” said Mantashe.

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