News & Events
July 3, 2024

Grappling with the critical questions of the Power Sector Reform in South Africa

Johannesburg, June 25 - 26: At the Operation Vulindlela conference, government and private sector experts gathered to discuss the unit's priorities under the seventh administration. Established by President Cyril Ramaphosa in October 2020, Operation Vulindlela aims to expedite structural reforms and has completed over 90% of its initial goals.

? Key achievements include a surge in renewable energy projects between 2021 and 2023, following the lifting of the licensing threshold for private generation. Deputy Finance Minister David Masondo expressed hope for continued reform acceleration by the new government.

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However, Nomvuyo Guma, Joint Head of Operation Vulindlela, emphasized that the unit focuses on a limited number of reforms to support rather than replace government implementers. Saul Musker, Director of Strategy and Delivery Support in The Presidency, outlined that Operation Vulindlela’s decision to support would thus be based on the economic growth impact of the reform and the difference the involvement of Operation Vulindlela could make.

Dr Ansuya Rungasamy, Senior Technical Advisor for Power Sector Reform topics in the South African-German Energy Programme (SAGEN), participated in the panel discussion to deepen energy reforms, alongside Dr Peter Twesigye, Dr Kenneth Creamer, Mr Fanele Mondi and Mr Mirlan Aldayarov. 

While there was a general sense of optimism about the progress that has been made through Operation Vulindlela and the National Energy Crisis Committee’s efforts, it was paired with a recognition that the system remained fragile. The South African electricity sector is undergoing a period of structural reform, which requires careful multistakeholder collaboration. The discussion emphasized that Operation Vulindlela and the National Energy Crisis Committee perform a key role in convening stakeholders from across industry to discuss these reforms. This collaboration is especially valuable in the context of the Electricity Regulation Amendment Bill on the President’s desk, which proposes the introduction of a competitive, multimarket in the electricity sector, alongside new roles for the National Transmission Company and distribution sector. 

In addition to targeted focus sessions and case studies, the conference explored challenges in local government and the impacts of spatial inequality, with a view to understanding what reform steps could form key contributing factors to inclusive economic growth

As Operation Vulindlela transitions into Phase 2, the unit will continue to concentrate on accelerating economic reform by focusing on a select group of priorities, with an emphasis on green and digital economic growth sectors. Conference delegates have also suggested additional priorities, including land reform, rural health, literacy, and industrial policy.

Photo Credit: ©Jesse David Preyser


The South African-German Energy Programme (SAGEN) supports a wide array of South African stakeholders in grappling with the critical questions of the power sector reform in the country.


Contact Person:
Dr Ansuya Rungasamy, Senior Technical Advisor for Power Sector Reform and Regulation, South African-German Energy Programme (SAGEN), ansuya.rungasamy[at]giz.de

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