- The South African energy regulator has announced that it decided on 26 March 2020, to suspend its operations for the duration of the lockdown.
- This means that NERSA business, including Energy Regulator decisions that need public participation processes such as public hearings, has been put on hold, and cannot be carried out.
NERSA recently received concerns regarding delays in decision making, particularly related to the approval of licence and registration applications from independent power producers during the lockdown period.
NERSA explains that processes and decisions are administrative in nature and must be guided by section 33 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, the Promotion of Administrative Justice Act, 2000 (Act No. 3 of 2000) (‘PAJA’) and section 10 of the National Energy Regulator Act, 2004 (Act No. 40 of 2004) (‘NERA’).
NERSA must comply with the legal prescripts. Failure to do so may result in its decisions being taken for judicial review in the High Court. During the lockdown period, NERSA will not be conducting public hearings as a means of stakeholder participation process, but will utilize the notice and written comments process to satisfy the requirement of NERA read with PAJA.
NERSA makes assurances that it is committed to the wellbeing of its staff and stakeholders, as well as to addressing all threats posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Author: Bryan Groenendaal