The policy landscape surrounding Electricity investment in South Africa: 1976 – 2012

Written policy means nothing without effective implementation

Our Renewable energy consultant Robert Fischer produced a South African Energy policy analysis for the World Resources Institute and this blog is based on his report.

Between 1976 and 1993, not a lot happened around Energy policy in South Africa, but here is a quick summary from 1993 onward:

  • In 1993 a Nuclear Energy Act was established.
  • After that it appears no further energy policy events took place until 1995 when an Energy Policy discussion document was published.
  • Other than a National Electrification programme report being published in 2001, the next significant event for Energy planning occurred in 2002 when the National Energy outlook was released.
  • This was quickly followed by our first Integrated energy plan (IEP) and our first Renewable Energy Policy being released in 2003.
  • In 2004 the National Energy Regulator Act was established and from 2005 onward the SA policy development space is PACKED with energy- and climate-related policy drafts.

Currently South Africa can be reasonably proud of the spectrum of energy- and climate-related policies that have been formulated. But as we know, written policy means nothing without effective implementation.

Project 90 hosts the Electricity governance initiative, a collective of Non-government organizations (NGOs) working on electricity policy in South Africa. EGI-SA was initiated by the World Resources institute and South African organizations involved include the Faith Communities Environment Institute (SAFCEI), Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF),, Green connection, Sustainable Energy Africa (SEA), Gender cc and Project 90. EGI-SA aims to build a roadmap towards a positive electricity future for South Africa.

As part of our work in the EGI-SA collective, we are currently tracking energy policy implementation and will share our findings publically later this year e.g. encouraging large scale RE projects, nett metering etc. Our subjective observations thus far suggest that the zeitgeist – the growing public interest in and take up of renewable energy – is overtaking policy implementation.

Is this because Renewable Energy just makes so much obvious sense that people don’t need to wait around for policies in order to act sensibly?

Brenda Martin and Robert Fischer

One response to “The policy landscape surrounding Electricity investment in South Africa: 1976 – 2012

  1. Hello there! This blog post could not be written much better!
    Going through this post reminds me of my previous roommate!
    He constantly kept preaching about this. I’ll send this information to him. Fairly certain he’ll have a very good read.

    I appreciate you for sharing!

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