RELIABLE ELECTRICITY SUPPLY FOR SHISELWENI

 

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Minister for Natural Resources and Energy making his remarks during the launch.

The Ministry of Natural Resources and Energy has officially launched the Network reinforcement and Access Project (NRAP) worth over E700 million. This project will see over 8000 households benefitting The project which is funded by the World Bank was launched by the Minister for Natural Resources and Energy Peter Bhembe. The project will go long way in providing reliable electricity supply, as the country strives to attain SDG7 which calls for ensuring access to modern energy for all by 2030. Minster Bhembe highlighted that the project is in line with their majesties’ vision of a first world status for Eswatini which mandates access to electricity for all Emaswati by 2022. The Shiselweni region had in the past been lagging behind in terms of network upgrades and strengthening. The main aim of the project is to improve the quality of electricity supply in the southern part of the country and facilitate access to electricity. During the implementation of the project, it is envisaged that the project shall have positive spillovers to the region by bringing employment opportunities as well as business opportunities both in the short, medium, and long term. The Minister further highlighted that he was hopeful that the project will be a success and benefit all the various sectors and communities in the Shiselweni region. Furthermore, he thanked the Members of Parliament (MPs) for the support they showed towards the implementation of the project as he averred this would develop the Shiselweni region positively. The NRA project would enable Eswatini to be able to produce adequate supply for the country and also sell it to other countries, similar to what South Africa is doing. The power cuts would be a thing of the past in the region as the project would produce enough electricity for the region. Business Eswatini CEO Nathi Dlamini applauded the ministry and the World Bank for implementing the project in the region as he averred that businesses depended entirely on the availability of electricity. He said this project would attract a lot of investors in the Kingdom as a whole. World Bank Representative Nonhlanhla Zindlela stated that she was happy that the project was at its implementation stage as this meant the country was headed in the right direction in terms of development.

 GOVERNMENT  PRESS STATEMENT

 

 

FUEL PRICE DECREASE: THURSDAY, MIDNIGHT, 2ND APRIL, 2020 (EFFECTIVE FRIDAY, 3RD APRIL, 2020).  

 As part of the Government’s interventions in assisting individuals and the business community cope with the consequences of the economic crisis resulting from the worldwide spread of the COVID-19 and in consideration of the current global markets relative to the sector, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Energy     hereby informs the public that:

The fuel price shall decrease with effect from Thursday, Midnight, 2nd April, 2020 (effective Friday, 3rd April, 2020) as follows; 

Petrol and Illuminating Paraffin prices will decrease by 100 cents per litre whilst Diesel prices will decrease by 80cents per litre.  Therefore the new fuel prices shall be as follows:

  • Unleaded Petrol (ULP 95) price will decrease from E13.65/litre to E12.65/litre
  • Diesel 50ppm Sulphur (0.005%S) price will decrease from E13.70/litre to E12.90/litre and;
  • Illuminating paraffin price will decrease from E9.15/litre to E8.15/litre.

It is Government’s hope that this measure and the others already communicated to the nation will go a long way in mitigating the effects of the COVID-19 outbreak to our economy.

The public is urged to always take the necessary precautions and respect the COVID-19 health guidelines as we strengthen the fight against the virus outbreak and its consequences.

 

SENATOR PETER N. BHEMBE

MINISTER NATURAL RESOURCES AND ENERGY

SPEECH BY THE HON. MINISTER FOR NATURAL RESOURCES AND ENERGY AT THE LAUNCH OF THE NATIONAL WATER POLICY. 

VENUE:

 HAPPY VALLEY HOTEL

DATE:

6TH NOVEMBER 2019.

 

The Programme Director;

Honourable Portfolio Committee Members from Both Houses of Parliament;

UNDP Country Representative;

The Regional Administrator - Hhohho Region;

Principal Secretaries here present;

Captains of Industry;

Representatives from Academic Institutions;

Members of the National Water Authority;

Members of the River Basin Authorities;

WASH stakeholders;

Government Officials;

Distinguished Guests;

Ladies and Gentlemen;

 

Good morning to you all.

It gives me great pleasure to stand before you today to officiate in this important function for the launch of our National Water Policy. This is a historic event as the country is for the first time having a policy in the water sector. It has been observed that since the times of the old Water Act of 1967 the country has always had an Act without the supporting policy document.  This also holds true for Water Act of 2003 which was operating without a policy to provide statement on good practice in the development and management of our water resources.

The Ministry greatly appreciates the efforts of the National Water Authority for spearheading the process of developing the Water Policy which provides the much needed guidance in the management and development of the country’s water resources. I have been advised that the process for the development of this document started some years back in as early as the year 2000. During this period water stakeholders and government officials were taken through a training process on how to develop a water policy. This process was facilitated by an external expert who capacitated the local team to undertake this process.

After inception the Policy development process had to be suspended as the SADC Region had to develop the Regional Water Policy to provide guidance on how Member States were to develop their respective Water Policies. The local policy development process was then resuscitated in 2006 after the passing of the Regional Water Policy and Strategy on which Members States now align their Policies and Strategies.

I take this opportunity to thank the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) for providing the financial support to the tune of US$45,000 to support the policy development initiative. Through this support we were able to engage a professional team to finalize the development of the Policy document and also conducted national consultations to get inputs from the different stakeholders. This support is great appreciated and the Ministry remains grateful for your assistance.

The development of this document entailed the consultation of a wide spectrum of stakeholders which included amongst others Chiefs from all the four Regions of the Country, Parliament, Industry, Water Users and different other Ministries to ensure that the document does not conflict with other existing policies. The Policy received Cabinet approval in August 2018 and is being launched today to alert the nation of its existence and to initiate follow-up processes for its implementation.

It is worth noting that the Policy is coming up with new approaches in the development and management of our water resources. For an example, under Section 4.6.1 the Policy indicates that there shall be a liberation of service providers for potable water supply and sanitation services. It indicates that this will be regulated by the National Water Authority and will allow the private sector to be an active player in the provision of these services and this will improve the level of potable water supply service to our rural areas.  

Another new development brought about by this document is a water use charging mechanism. Under Section 4.7 the Policy provides for water pricing structures for various uses and levels, including issues of cross-subsidization in various forms to ensure sustainability of water assurance and supply services.

May I take this opportunity to urge you all to familiarize yourselves with this document as it has very innovative strategies on how the different policy pronouncements will be implemented and it also assigns roles to different entities. This document has been uploaded on the government website for easy access and is also available at the offices of the Department of Water Affairs.

From now on the Ministry will initiate processes for the review of the prevailing water legislation to incorporate the new principles and strategies coming with the Policy. This process is planned to commerce in the new year and will see the Ministry reviewing the Water Act of 2003 with other prevailing water legislation to be in sync with the new policy. Areas of special attention will be on issues surrounding the provision of potable water to our rural areas to ensure that the country’s vision of attaining 100% access to potable water supply is achieved by 2022. This is also in line with meeting the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goal (SDG 6) by the year, 2030.  Another area of special attention will be on the establishment of Basin Institutions for the management of our national water resources.

The Ministry looks forward to the active role of the National Water Authority to drive the process through.

Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, in conclusion may I take this opportunity to thank you all for having devoted your precious time to be part of this important event.

With these few remarks, it is now my pleasure to declare the National Water Policy officially launched.

 

I THANK YOU AND MAY GOD BLESS US ALL.

Senate Portfolio Committee Tour Energy Projects

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On the 26th February, 2020 the Ministry of Natural Resources and Energy Portfolio Committee from the House of Senate toured energy projects in the southern part of the country. The Portfolio committee which was led by Senator Princess Ntfombiyenkhosi who is also Chairperson was hosted by the Hon. Minister for Natural Resources and Energy Senator Peter Bhembe, Ministerial Senior Officials which included the Principal Secretary Winnie Stewart, and Eswatini Electricity Company Executive Managers.

The Portfolio Committee started by visiting the Phuzumoya Strategic Oil Reserve Facility Site. At the site Minister Bhembe stated that plans for securing funding are at an advanced stage and if all goes well the project may commence anytime within the financial year 2020/21.

 

It is worth mentioning that the Phuzumoya Strategic Oil Reserve Facility is a government project aimed at improving fuel security of supply for the country through storing 30-day fuel stocks. This is mainly aimed at safe guarding the country against unplanned fuel supply disruptions that may hamper economic activity. Ground preparation for the project like fencing the project area, installation of electricity infrastructure, potable and raw water, rail line and tarred access road to the site are all in place.

the Portfolio Committee then proceeded to tour the Ncandweni Substation. Explaining about the project the Managing Director, Meshack Kunene said that the substation, currently under construction once completed will improve and strengthen the electricity output for Ncandweni and surrounding areas, which will see sugar cane farmers under the Lusip II Project benefitting. “This is a huge substation and we are hopeful that it will be completed before the end of this year,” said Kunene.

The Committee proceeded to visit a completed rural electrification project at Lunkuntfu. The project benefited 81 homesteads which were all electrified as well as the Lunkuntfu Community hall and a water pump. The total cost of the project to Government was nine hundred and fifty thousand Emalangeni (E950.000.00)

The tour ended by visiting a site at Qomintaba under Lavumisa where a 10MW Solar PV Project is currently under construction. The project cost IS around E240 million and construction work is proceeding well. The said project is expected to be completed by August this year. The MD stated that as a company they prioritized hiring of locals in all their projects, this was confirmed by the project manager of CONCO Energy Solutions Byron Sancho. “The company has hired about 40 locals and we anticipate hiring more as construction continues, “said Sancho. Making her remarks the Senator portfolio chairperson Princess Ntfombiyenkhosi said they appreciate as a portfolio committee responsible for the ministry to see such big projects under the energy sector which will take the country to a better level in terms of sustainable and energy access for all. “This will not only improve the economy of the country but will also improve the lives of Emaswati,” She said. The chairperson also noted the gender equality as she appreciated the hiring of female Engineers in most of the EEC projects.

 

TALKING POINTS FOR THE LAUNCH OF THE CENTRE FOR SUSTAINABLE ENERGY RESEARCH AND HAND OVER OF SOLAR PV SYSTEM

 

17TH OCTOBER 2019

LIGCABHO LEMASWATI SPORTS EMPORIUM – UNESWA KWALUSENI CAMPUS

__________________________________________________________________________________

PROTOCOL

  • PROGRAMME DIRECTOR,
  • HONOURABLE MEMBERS OF PARLIAMENT,
  • HIS EXCELLENCY, THE AMBASSADOR OF THE REPUBLIC OF CHINA (TAIWAN),
  • THE UNESWA VICE CHANCELLOR.
  • REGIONAL ADMINISTRATOR,
  • PRINCIPAL SECRETARIES,
  • CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER’S FROM THE PRIVATE SECTOR,
  • UNESWA LECTURERS AND STAFF,
  • GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS,
  • DISTINGUISHED GUESTS,
  • LADIES AND GENTLEMEN.

 

  • It is my honour to be invited to be part of this very important occasion to officially launch the Centre for Sustainable Energy Research and also to witness the handover of the solar PV system that was donated by the Government of the Republic of China (Taiwan) to the University of Eswatini.
  • Government through the Ministry of Natural Resources and Energy partnered with the University of Eswatini in the establishment of the Research Centre.
  • This is in response to the recognition of the National Development Strategy - Vision 2022 that energy is absolutely necessary to achieve the socio-economic development, and identifies energy research as one of its strategic objectives.
  • The implementation strategy of the updated National Energy Policy of 2018 recognises the pivotal role of research and development in advancing a sustainable energy industry in Eswatini. It further outlines research strategies which should be taken and led by UNESWA.
  • The Centre is therefore well placed to run with this research & development initiative. It is therefore encouraging to learn that the Centre will, amongst other objectives:-
  • Assist to increase the implementation of energy efficiency and conservation measures in the country,
  • Help address the slow adoption of renewable energy technologies such as solar PV, biogas, wind power and other bio-energy resources,
  • Prepare the country for future energy systems such as fuel cells,
  • Address issues of sustainable energy access for all.
  • The establishment of the Centre is therefore a game changer on energy matters in the country.
  • Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen, I wish to hereby take this opportunity to appeal for the support of this Centre through engagement or hiring of its expertise in energy related matters as well as through providing financial support where required in order to enable the Centre to grow in leaps and bounds.
  • The establishment of the Centre would not have come at a better time especially now with the advent of climate change, energy insecurity, rising energy costs coupled with increased interest and opportunities of tapping into the sustainable energy sector.
  • I urge the Centre to develop formal links with local, regional and international institutions of similar interests for benchmarking and experience sharing and also to provide a forum for discussion of energy, climate change and sustainable development issues which affect the country.
  • I am happy to report that in a bid to strengthen capacity of the Centre, the Ministry has considered linking it with the SADC Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (SACREEE) on matters of developing the renewable energy and energy efficiency sectors in the country.
  • Further, the Ministry has solicited assistance from the International Atomic Energy Agency which has agreed to assist the Centre on matters of developing a curriculum which will be used by the Centre in developing skills on matters of energy research and planning. I am reliably told that before the end of this month experts from the International Atomic Energy Agency will be visiting the Centre for initial discussions on the curriculum development.
  • The Ministry’s aspirations is for the Centre to provide support services to the energy industry, including premium testing facilities for energy technologies, energy resources data consolidation and analysis in order to assist government to adequately plan for the energy sector.
  • Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen, I also wish to take this opportunity to appreciate the continued support and cooperation that is consistently provided by the Republic of China (Taiwan) to the Kingdom of Eswatini.
  • To this end today, we have witnessed the Republic of China (Taiwan) officially handing over an 82.56 KW solar PV system that it donated to UNESWA.
  • Apart from assisting the University to reduce its electricity expenditure and also have some backup power during electricity outages, the system will further assist UNESWA and the Centre to carryout research on solar PV system technologies as well as provide the opportunity for students to benefit from practical hands on training on solar PV technologies through the use of the system.
  • Your Excellency, on behalf of the Government of the Kingdom of Eswatini, I hereby thank the government of the Republic of China (Taiwan) for making this possible.
  • We are forever grateful for your government’s continued support and assistance as Eswatini moves towards attaining a first world status by 2022.
  • Ladies and Gentlemen, with those brief remarks, it is my singular honour to declare the Centre for Sustainable Energy Research officially launched.

I thank you.                                                              

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