The President of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa, has signed a proclamation that transfers certain powers and functions entrusted by the Electricity Regulation Act (Act No 4 of 2006) to the new electricity minister, Kgosientso Ramokgopa.
Having been appointed the Minister in the Presidency responsible for Electricity on March 7, Kgosientso Ramokgopa had no powers to direct electricity procurement, with new procurement urgently needed to solve the electricity supply challenges currently engulfing Africa’s most industrialised nation.
Armed with new powers, the electricity minister now has the authority to determine the new generation capacity needed to ensure the continued uninterrupted supply of electricity to the Southern African country.
“After due consideration, President Ramaphosa has transferred to the Minister of Electricity all powers and functions contained in Section 34(1) of the Electricity Regulation Act, which were previously entrusted to the Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy,” said the Presidency in a statement.
The Presidency outlined that delineation of powers and functions to the minister of electricity is directed at ensuring effective coordination and dedicated focus to deal more effectively and urgently with the electricity crisis.
The minister of electricity will now have authority to determine the types of energy sources from which electricity must be generated, and the percentages of electricity that must be generated from such sources.
Ramaphosa however left some powers and functions contained in the Electricity Regulation Act with the Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy, particularly powers related to the implementation of determinations made in terms of section 34.
Powers transferred to the electricity minister:
“(1) The Minister may, in consultation with the Regulator –
(a) determine that new generation capacity is needed to ensure the continued uninterrupted supply of electricity;
(b) determine the types of energy sources from which electricity must be generated, and the percentages of electricity that must be generated from such sources;
(c) determine that electricity thus produced may only be sold to the persons or in the manner set out in such notice;
(d) determine that electricity thus produced must be purchased by the persons set out in such notice;
(e) require that new generation capacity must –
(i) be established through a tendering procedure which is fair, equitable, transparent, competitive and cost-effective;
(ii) provide for private sector participation.
“The Minister of Electricity will, as the President indicated in the State of the Nation Address, oversee all aspects of the electricity crisis response, including the work of the National Energy Crisis Committee. This will provide a single point of command for Government’s efforts to close the shortfall in electricity supply,” said the Presidency.
“The Minister will work full-time with the Eskom board and management to end load-shedding and ensure that the Energy Action Plan announced by the President is implemented without delay.”