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Crucial step in ending the Eskom monopoly – Electricity Regulation Amendment Bill passed last week

Mr Jacques Moolman, President of the Cape Chamber of Commerce & Industry.

The Cape Chamber of Commerce and Industry welcomes the groundbreaking news of energy sector reform in the shape of the Electricity Regulation Amendment Bill, which was passed last week in the National Assembly.

The Bill is a crucial step in ending the Eskom monopoly in power production, and looks set to usher in a new era of energy competition – almost certainly with a hugely positive impact on the economy and private households.  The Cape Chamber is convinced that competition in the energy sector is the best strategy for ending load shedding and bringing down the long-term cost of power generation.

The ERA Bill makes provision for a state-owned Transmission System Operator that will reside inside Eskom’s National Transmission Company of SA (NTCSA) – as per government’s commitment to unbundling power supply into distinct generation, transmission, and distribution divisions. In effect this will allow government to buy energy from independent producers, while also ushering in competition in energy distribution.

In this way energy supply will become diversified and therefore less vulnerable to the vagaries of a single SOE – Eskom.

“We have been punting all along for government to allow the private sector to solve problems that state-owned enterprise monopolies cannot do efficiently,” comments Cape Chamber President Jacques Moolman.  “Now finally we are seeing a step in the right direction, and we look forward to working with our partners in both the public and private sector to turn policy reform into an energy-secure future.”

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