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Legislation bungle reveals much of govt is not serious about delivering change, says BLSA


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Legislation bungle reveals much of govt is not serious about delivering change, says BLSA

21st August 2023

By: Marleny Arnoldi
Deputy Editor Online


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Business Leadership South Africa (BLSA) CEO Busi Mavuso has expressed her dismay over the delays to the Electricity Regulation Act (ERA) Amendment Bill that became apparent last week, which she says leaves considerable risks that the Bill will not be promulgated before the end of the year.

She explains that, owing to apparent administrative bungling, the Bill has not been properly tabled at Parliament by the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE).


The process to get the Bill through committees and into law has, therefore, not started, which Mavuso says is inexplicable and unacceptable.

“The Bill is an urgent piece of legislation that is central to the joint efforts of business and government to solve the electricity crisis,” she stresses.


The Bill will allow for the creation of a Transmission System Operator to manage the national grid and procure electricity from a competitive market.

The legislation is key to attracting the necessary investment for expanding grid capacity, Mavuso points out, adding that the Bill will also help to create a level playing field for all electricity generators.

The Bill would have enabled the fastest way to get new electricity onto the grid at the lowest cost.

Mavuso explains that 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,” she states.

The situation is particularly frustrating to organised business, which has been hard at work to resolve the crisis alongside government.

Mavuso points out that a considerable amount of money has been raised and time spent to work on solutions, just for these kinds of bungles to happen and hamper progress.

She explains that although the Operation Vulindlela team operated by the Presidency and the National Treasury has been a major catalyst for getting implementation of necessary legislation done, following the DMRE’s blunder, businesses are concerned about being taken advantage of.

Mavuso says these delays rightly make it difficult for businesses to sustain their support.

She elaborates that the frustration over the Bill misstep is, in large part, because it is so unnecessary and purely a bureaucratic bungle, instead of one being born from the complexity of achieving policy reform.

“It has revealed, however, that certain parts of government are just not serious in delivering the change we need. Our partnership has to include mechanisms to course correct in the face of such bungles. I hope that we can urgently find a route to do so,” Mavuso concludes.


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