Energy

National Department Budget for 2015-16

Vote purpose

Formulate energy policies, regulatory frameworks and legislation, and oversee their implementation to ensure energy security, promotion of environmentally friendly energy carriers, and access to affordable and reliable energy for all South Africans.

Mandate

The Department of Energy is mandated to ensure the secure and sustainable provision of energy for socioeconomic development. It is to achieve this by developing an integrated energy plan for the entire energy sector, regulating energy industries, and promoting investment in accordance with the integrated resource plan (which focuses on electricity). A number of acts regulate the energy sector and reflect the legislative measures the department has instituted to govern the energy sector. Key among these are:

  • the National Energy Act (2008)

  • the Petroleum Products Act (1977)

  • the Electricity Regulation Act (2006).

The National Energy Act (2008) sets out the core aspects of the department’s mandate and is the enabling legislation that empowers the Minister of Energy to:

  • ensure that diverse energy resources are available in sustainable quantities and at affordable prices in the South African economy to support economic growth and poverty alleviation, while taking into account environmental considerations

  • plan for the increased generation and consumption of renewable energy, a contingency energy supply, the holding of strategic energy feedstock and carriers, adequate investment in appropriate upkeep, and access to energy infrastructure

  • collect data and information regarding energy demand, supply and generation

  • promote electricity regulation, energy research and the efficient generation and consumption of energy.

The department is also mandated to regulate the petroleum industry at the manufacturing, wholesale and retail levels, through the implementation of the Petroleum Products Act (1977). The Petroleum and Liquid Fuels Charter is annexed to the Petroleum Products Amendment Act (2003), and outlines the department’s strategy to effect the transformation of the industry.

The Electricity Regulation Act (2006) establishes a national regulatory framework for the electricity supply industry and introduces the National Energy Regulator as the custodian and enforcer of the national electricity regulatory framework. The act also provides for licences and registration as the instruments through which generation, transmission, distribution, trading and the import and export of electricity are regulated.

In terms of its policy mandate, the department is working with a range of documents and legislation, which support the long term vision for South Africa to use as much renewable energy as possible; create the necessary conditions to stimulate an efficient electricity market; and position South Africa to become globally competitive in the use of innovative technology for the design, manufacture and deployment of state of the art nuclear energy systems, power reactors and nuclear fuel cycle systems.

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