Call to clarify Nersa role

2010-03-09 11:10

Cape Town - There is an urgent need to clarify the role of the National Electricity Regulator of SA (Nersa), according to a newly-released report.

The regulator also needed to be given the power to play an active role in governance of the power sector, the report said.

The report was commissioned by the international Electricity Governance Initiative, and is based on research by South African academics and NGOs.

It said there was a "profound" lack of clarity on roles and responsibilities in the electricity sector.

This had left policy processes vulnerable to economically and politically powerful interests outside government.

"There is an urgent need to clarify the role and authority of the regulator in energy policy formulation, planning and regulation," the report said.

The way Nersa's senior management were appointed should be reviewed to make the process more transparent, which would affirm the independence and authority of the regulator and improve public confidence in its integrity.

Nersa should also be given the resources it needed to meet its social responsibilities, such as ensuring access to affordable electricity.

- Sapa