Delays to gazette 100MW generation threshold proof that Mantashe has no desire to fix energy crisis

Issued by Kevin Mileham MP – DA Shadow Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy
09 Aug 2021 in News

Please find attached a soundbite by Kevin Mileham MP

Reports that the gazetting of amendments to Schedule 2 of the Electricity Regulation Act raising the threshold for licencing of own generation to 100MW will be delayed until at earliest mid-September are indicative of the lack of any real desire to address this issue. Gwede Mantashe, the Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy, has previously admitted that he had to have his arm twisted to agree to the raising of the threshold.

When the announcement that the threshold would be raised to 100MW was announced by President Ramaphosa on 10 June, he informed the nation that the necessary amendments to the Schedule would be gazetted within 60 days. It is clear that Minister Mantashe, the Department of Energy and the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (NERSA) are placing unnecessary obstacles in the path of energy security.

Delays to this amendment mean that the South African economy is further hamstrung by a recalcitrant minister and government. It means that investment is proscribed and job creation hindered. It means that South Africa’s citizens continue to be subjected to the threat of rolling blackouts arising from a dysfunctional and failing Eskom monopoly.

Section 36(4) of the Electricity Regulation Act provides that “The Minister may, after consultation with the Regulator and any person who may be affected thereby, amend Schedule 2 by notice in the Gazette.” Mantashe and NERSA need to answer why such consultation has not taken place in the months since this was announced, and why NERSA is only embarking on public participation now. It is unclear why NERSA needs to embark on such public participation processes, and why this could not have been done earlier.

The Democratic Alliance, and South Africa, demand answers. If ever there was evidence that Mantashe should have been reshuffled, this is it.