South Africa’s Electricity Regulation Amendment Bill finally tabled but unlikely to pass

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  • The bill is central to the joint efforts of business and government to solve the electricity crisis.
  • It will allow for the unbundling of the Transmission and Distribution Companies from Eskom into seperate entitities.
  • It is also seen as a way out of the country’s energy crisis by allowing more private sector participation in generation, transmission and distribution.
  • South Africa has faced up to 10 hours of blackouts daily this winter. 

The bill was improperly submitted in April by the Ministry of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE).

“Had it been done correctly then we would be much further down the road to solving the electricity crisis,” said Busisiwe Mavuso, CEO of Business Leadership South Africa (BLSA), in her weekly letter.

“The Mineral Resources and Energy Committee in parliament already has a full agenda making it difficult to process the bill through required public consultations in time for the year-end break. While the DMRE did not submit the bill properly, it is also inexplicable to me why parliament did not raise the alarm earlier. It leaves me feeling like neither are taking the electricity crisis seriously enough. It suggests that there are silos within government, and they are not united in delivering the resolution to the electricity crisis that the country desperately needs,” added Mavuso.

There are now significant doubts that the bill will be processed through Parliament before the end of the year or even before the country’s national election next year. The bill is hotly contested plus there are a series of public hearings that need to occur before parliament can put the bill to the vote. Legislation that is not completed before Parliament is dissolved prior to an election must start from scratch.

Author: Bryan Groenendaal


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