The chairperson of the National Assembly’s portfolio committee on mineral resources and energy said they want to ramp up public hearings on the Electricity Regulation Amendment Bill, which they believe will open up the market.
THE CHAIRPERSON of the National Assembly’s portfolio committee on mineral resources and energy, Zet Luzipo, said they want to ramp up public hearings on the Electricity Regulation Amendment Bill, which they believe will open up the market. They want this process of public hearings to be completed before the end of the year.
The committee was in Limpopo this weekend where some of the people supported the bill saying it will allow for Eskom to have competition in the electricity market.
Some of the people believe Eskom’s competitors would be able to stabilise the electricity sector following years of load shedding that has impacted on the economy.
Electricity Minister Kgosientsho Ramokgopa said recently that Stage 6 load shedding was costing the country R1 billion a day.
He said that last year more than 600,000 people lost their jobs due to load shedding and more jobs could be on the line.
Luzipo said on Saturday that the public hearings in Limpopo have given the committee an understanding on the frustrations of the public due to power cuts.
“The bill aims to effect changes to the Electricity Regulation Act in order to provide for additional electricity generation capacity and infrastructure, as well as the establishment of the Transmission System Operator SOC Ltd.
“The draft legislation also seeks an open market platform that will allow for competitive electricity trading; and to assign the duties, powers and functions of the Transmission System Operator SOC Ltd to the National Transmission Company South Africa SOC Ltd,” said Luzipo.
He added that the communities they visited raised a number of issues regarding the bill.
Some believe the competition was necessary in the electricity market to end load shedding. But others were concerned about steep electricity prices once the new players get into the market.
Luzipo said the next phase of the public hearings would provide the committee an opportunity to get more views on how South Africans wanted the State to deal with the energy crisis in the country.