In Botswana, after four years of discussions, parliament has finally passed an energy regulatory authority bill that will assist in providing an efficient regulatory framework for the energy sector.
Furthermore, the primary mandate of the new bill is said will provide economic regulation for the sector with a view to protect the interests of consumers and to provide investor confidence, reports local media.
Motion for energy regulatory authority bill
According to the media, the minister of minerals, energy and water resources, Kitso Mokaila, confirmed that the bill was passed in parliament last week.
It is reported that a parliamentary member, Ndaba Gaolathe, during a seating in July 2016, pushed for the establishment of a regulator. He had stated that this would create an environment that would be beneficial to the water and power sectors due to anticipated greater investment.
Gaolathe also explained that there was no doubt that Botswana has reached a stage whereby the country should get the power and water sectors in order. This is because the country cannot develop various sectors that government has identified as necessary areas to support development of the economy without the two commodities.
He stated that establishment of a regulator of water and power would create an environment that is transparent and enable participants to know what they were getting into when investing in these sectors.
It was reported that minister Mokaila noted some of the issues related to hindering for the provision of electricity to the Botswana people.
The media quoted the energy minister highlighting that the cost of infrastructure to take the services to people comes at a high price adding that “generally power producers want to look at a cost-reflective tariff, which meant most [of] Botswana would be left out.”
Mokaila said the projects that people are deploying for power generation and providing this for sale to Botswana’s national grid was a great initiative.
He also noted that the state Botswana’s infrastructure is currently in is because the tariffs charged are not cost reflective, therefore Botswana Power Corporation and Water Utilities Corporation cannot reinvest as they should in the infrastructure.