News & Events
April 10, 2024

National Energy Regulator of South Africa signing a Memorandum of Understanding with the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit

On April 10, 2024, the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (NERSA) and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH formalised years of positive collaboration in South African energy regulation by signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).

The agreement focusses on the following key technical cooperation areas:

  • Electricity Regulation and Regulatory Reform; 
  • Electricity Pricing and Tariffs; 
  • Electricity Infrastructure Planning and Operation and related Rules and Regulations; 
  • Electricity Licensing, Registration and Compliance; 
  • Capacity Building and Training. 

The MoU was signed by Muzi Mkhize, NERSA Full-Time Regulator Member, and Thomas Schaef, Country Director of GIZ South Africa, Lesotho and eSwatini, and arrives amidst increasing shares of variable renewable energy capacity, ongoing efforts to unbundle the national utility Eskom and structural reform proposals for a more decentralized and liberalized generation sector.

NERSA's CEO, Adv Nomalanga Sithole, emphasised that changes relating to the energy transition necessitate that NERSA positions itself by, amongst others, capacitating its staff to adequately respond to these changes. Moreover, NERSA’s vision is to be recognised as a world-class leader in energy regulation. The regional and global developments in the energy sector call for NERSA, as a regulatory authority, to develop the requisite skills and capabilities necessary to adapt to the changing energy landscape in order to ensure that it remains efficient and effective for the benefit of consumers and the South African energy industry at large.

NERSA therefore actively seeks to continuously enhance the skills and knowledge of its staff through capacity building initiatives and partnerships, such as the MoU between NERSA and GIZ. “The exchange of knowledge with both our peers within the African continent and other entities beyond the continent remains one of the cornerstones that will ensure that NERSA fulfils its mandate and purpose. We are therefore eager to share information and collaborate with other like-minded organisations since such initiatives keep us abreast with developments within the energy sector” said NERSA CEO, Adv. Nomalanga Sithole.

Within this context of rapidly evolving policy debates and energy topography, the Regulator’s role has gained renewed importance, acting as the fulcrum of the sector. While some may be more familiar with dispassionate descriptions of price and license conditions, regulation is of critical importance in shaping the welfare of economies and society more broadly.

Thomas Schaef celebrated the signing of this MoU, noting that it “marks the start of a new, exciting chapter in the collaborative relationship between GIZ and NERSA. The signing of our Memorandum of Understanding not only solidifies our past accomplishments but also paves the way for a future rich in potential and innovation.”

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The South African-German Energy Programme (SAGEN) collaborates with South African partners to support the country’s transition to a reliable, affordable and clean energy future. SAGEN is funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), co-funded by the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) and implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH in cooperation with the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE), the National Treasury (NT), Eskom, the South African Local Government Association (SALGA) and the South African National Energy Development Institute (SANEDI).

Photo Credits: ©GIZ/ Thabang Radebe

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