The Energy Department of the Ministry of Natural Resources & Energy is the custodian of policy and operational activities pertaining to the energy sector. Its mission is to effectively manage the national energy resources and to work towards affordable and sustainable energy provision for all the people in the country, whilst ensuring the international competitiveness of the energy sector.
Energy is a vital commodity in all sectors of the society, and the specific characteristics of energy supply and consumption patterns have a number of important implications for the development of a country. Energy inputs such as electricity and fuels are essential to generate jobs, industrial activities, transportation, commerce, micro-enterprises and agriculture inputs. Energy is particularly important for achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDG’s) and the Poverty Alleviation Strategy. Access to energy is crucial for the achievement of a number of MDGs including halving the poverty rate, reducing hunger, improving access to safe drinking water, reducing child and maternal mortality, reducing disease such as HIV/AIDS and malaria, achieving universal primary education, promoting gender equality and empowerment of women and environmental sustainability. However, the available energy services are not sufficient to meet the needs of the poor. Therefore, there is need for commitment to increase access to energy sources, energy efficiency and the use of renewable energy. Biomass energy is unfortunately diminishing whilst a number of people in the rural areas still depend on this resource for cooking and heating purposes.
The main sources by which the country meets its energy needs are electricity, coal, petroleum products and renewable and waste.
During the Plan period, priority will be given to activities that improve access to energy services, as this will facilitate socio-economic development. These include promoting micro-enterprises, livelihood activities beyond daylight hours, and support to locally owned businesses that will create employment.
The Ministry completed a comprehensive implementation strategy for the National Energy Policy, with the assistance of the European Union (EU), under the European Union Energy Initiative (EUEI) on Poverty Alleviation and Economic Development, in partnership with European Union Partnership Dialogue Facility (EU PDF). This National Energy Policy Implementation Strategy (NEPIS) project commenced in July 2007 and completed in October 2009. The Strategy will outline the concrete actions and clear programmes and methodologies required in the implementation mainly of the Poverty Reduction Strategy and Action Programme. The strategy will also focus on realistic fulfilment of the energy policy statements and elaboration of strategies as well as a time frame for implementing the policies during the short and medium/long term in line with the National Poverty Strategy.
The policy recommends programs for liberalising the energy markets and on how the reforms could improve the expansion of access to energy services for the poor. In essence, the policy acknowledges that addressing poverty alleviation for sustainable energy means finding technological and institutional innovations that can lower the costs of obtaining and using energy services, and tailoring these services to the requirements of low income households and communities POLICY MEASURES AND INSTITUTIONAL REFORMS
a) Electricity Supply Legislation and Energy Sector Reforms
The Ministry developed new legislations to govern the electricity sector to liberalise the electricity supply industry in Swaziland. The main activities were:
• Amendment of the Electricity Act of 1963 • Formulation of the Swaziland Electricity Company (SEC) Act •Formulation of the Energy Regulatory Authority Act.
The three power sector reform legislations were enacted into Acts of Parliament in 2007. The Swaziland Electricity Company Act of 2007 establishes the company under the Companies Act and Performance. The Swaziland Electricity Company (SEC) assumed all duties and powers conferred to Swaziland Electricity Board (SEB), as well as activities thereof, namely: generation, transmission, distribution and supply of electricity. The Electricity Act of 2007, is an ‘Act to reform and consolidate the law regulating the generation, transmission, distribution and supply of electricity and to provide for matters incidental thereto.’ It amends the Electricity Act of 1963. The Energy Regulatory Authority Act of 2007 establishes the Energy Regulatory Authority and provides for matters incidental to the authority. The regulatory authority is further tasked with enforcing compliance standards, approving tariffs, adjudicating concerns from consumers and promoting economic efficiency in the energy industry.
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