Regional Energy Regulators Association of Southern Africa (RERA) member associations recently descended in Maun for discussion on plans to have the different energy regulators form one regional authority.
SADC member states, considering the soaring energy prices in the Southern African Region are harbouring plans to appoint RERA as the much wanted energy regulatory authority.
The Regional Energy Regulators Association of Southern Africa (RERA) is a formal Association of Energy Regulators in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region.
The Association was launched in Windhoek, Namibia in 2002 by SADC Ministers responsible for Energy focusing on electricity regulation only. RERA’s mandate was however expanded from electricity to energy regulation in 2019.
RERA has its own constitution stipulating the objectives, functions and other operational requirements.
In an interview, Botswana Energy Regulatory Authority (BERA) Board Chairman, Justice Moilwa revealed that SADC member states are in talks to appoint RERA as the regulatory entity within the region.
Moilwa explained that the intention is to build bridges between countries so as to share the limited energy services and products as well as between consumers and licenses in the SADC region.
“What happens to all SADC member states in terms of energy affects others, hence the whole idea is to have a regulator that speaks one voice for the region to benefit,” Moilwa further explained.
He noted that intergovernmental at ministerial level engagements are ongoing aimed at facilitating legislation that will see the smooth functioning of RERA as an authority.
Moilwa also revealed that plans are underway to construct a 400kb power line from Phokoje sub-station in Phikwe to Kasane and another line from Kasane to Zambia which will assist in connecting the region for easy power flow.
“Botswana will benefit from the regional connection because the ultimate aim is to connect the Democratic Republic of Congo which is has the potential to power the rest of Africa with hydro power,” he revealed.
Meanwhile RERA Chairperson, Motlatsi Ramafole of Lesotho has since urged SADC countries to venture into private investment of the energy sector, emphasising that private power producers are able to reach places that are not installed on the main network of the utility. He noted that independent power producers will also assist in any country’s economic growth as well as giving customers an alternative to choose from.
“At the moment Lesotho has licensed 10 independent power producers and we are expecting more to come on board as our country is in a hard-to-reach place in the high lands and we do not have utilities and networks there,” Ramafole noted.