SOUTH AFRICA. Johannesburg: The South African government on Thursday announced a significant step in further reforming Schedule 2 of the Electricity Regulation Act which seeks to address electricity challenges and structural reforms so at to speed up the country’s economic recovery.
In a statement, President Cyril Ramaphosa said that the ability to address the energy crisis swiftly and comprehensively will determine the pace of economic recovery.
“We are in the midst of the worst economic crisis in our country’s recent history, which has seen a dramatic increase in unemployment, hunger, and a significant decline in economic growth”, he said.
The president also pointed out that the country had identified energy as a key stride in infrastructural development.
“That is why we have identified the achievement of energy security as one of the priority interventions in our Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan”, President Ramaphosa said.
He continued to say that Schedule 2 of the Electricity Regulation Act will be amended to increase the NERSA licensing threshold for embedded generation projects from 1-100 Megawatts
“The amended regulations will exempt generation projects up to 100 MW in size from the NERSA licensing requirement, whether or not they are connected to the grid”
According to the amendment generator operations will be subjected to Eskom and municipalities wheeling charges and connections agreements
Generation projects will need to obtain a permit for grid connection and their registration to be approved by the regulator.
Eskom is South Africa’s main electricity supplier in South Africa which owns more than 90% of the countries power.
The amendment is in line with Operation Vulindlela a joint initiative by the presidency and the Ministry of Treasury to support economic recovery and structural reforms whereby electricity is part of objectives.
The operation aims to reform the electricity sector so as to stabilize energy supply and reduce load shedding among others.
“This reform is expected to unlock significant investment in new generation capacity in the short and medium-term, enabling companies to build their own generation facilities to supply their energy needs”, said President Ramaphosa.