The National Assembly’s portfolio committee on mineral resources and energy has called for submissions on the Electricity Regulation Bill that will open up the market in the electricity sector to mitigate the impact of power cuts.
The Bill was tabled in parliament a few weeks ago, following months of delays.
This was after Cabinet had announced early in the year that the Electricity Regulation Bill will be tabled in the national legislature.
President Cyril Ramaphosa also spoke about the need to have the bill in place to ensure that the market in the electricity sector was opened up.
The committee has set the deadline of October 13 for the public to comment on the bill.
Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy Gwede Mantashe said at the weekend they were going to engage on the expansion of the grid in the coastal provinces of the Northern Cape, Eastern Cape and Western Cape because they were providing other sources of energy.
He said when the system was developed, the focus was on the coal belt in Mpumalanga and the government at the time never expanded the grid to the Eastern Cape, Western Cape and Northern Cape.
Minister of Electricity Kgosientsho Ramokgopa said recently they want to expand the transmission lines by 14,000 km in the next 10 years.
The government would need R210 billion to invest in this project.
Mantashe said they need to have the transmission lines in the Eastern, Western and Northern Cape because they were starting with gas, nuclear and renewable projects.
“We are going to announce a Request for Proposal for 3,000MW gas in Ngqura, We are going to publish it. Eskom must agree there will be a transmission line for it. Before I come to nuclear, you must know we are not thinking nuclear. We are thinking energy. But one of the problems is that all the coastal provinces have weak transmission lines, Northern Cape, Eastern Cape and Western Cape. Why, because energy was generated in Mpumalanga in the coal belt. It was developed to respond to that reality. Here, as we develop energy facilities here, there is an obligation to develop transmission lines,” said Mantashe in the Eastern Cape at the weekend.
He said the issue of energy generation was critical for the future of South Africa.