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South African Energy Policy & G8 Petersburg Declaration on Global Energy Security

FES Briefing Paper 11

Hilton Trollip


August 2007

SARPN acknowledges FES as a source of this document:
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This paper examines commonalities in South African energy policy and the G8 St Petersburg Declaration on Global Energy Security policy1 (Petersburg Declaration) and assesses what in-terests South Africa might have in contributing to implementation of the G8 policy and how this might be achieved.

South Africa faces many of the same energy sec-tor challenges as expressed in the Petersburg Declaration, although, South Africa faces addi-tional challenges that developing countries face.

Prior to 1994 the state had invested heavily in the energy sector. Often these investments had been un-economic and that the sector had ope-rated in conditions of secrecy imposed by legisla-tion and levels of accountability and transparen-cy were problematic. The major South African energy markets were non-competitive and/or controlled by large monopolistic energy enterpri-ses and/or heavily regulated non-competitive re-gimes. It is to be expected that reforms of the sector which would per force take on large in-fluential and powerful actors in the South Afri-can economy, would face significant challenges.

South African energy policy experienced a fun-damental shift after the 1994 election. This shift found expression in a comprehensive and inclu-sive energy policy development process culmina-ting in publication of the White Paper on the Energy Policy of the Republic of South Africa da-ted December 1998 (SAWPEn). Although it is nearly ten years old, the SAWPEn still forms the basis for South African energy policy.

South Africa is still effectively in the initial stages of giving effect to much of the policy in SAWPEn. A raft of legislation has been promulgated to gi-ve effect to this policy and consequent energy sector transformation. Establishment of Inde-pendent Regulation is in its infancy. Re-structuring and reform processes are still under-way. Intended re-structuring and introduction of competition in the electricity sector has not yet been achieved and re-regulation of the petro-leum/liquid fuels sector has not occurred. There have been some severe unintended consequen-ces of the process to implement re-structuring and introduction of competition in the electricity sector and the de-regulation of the liquid fuels sector.

  1. As expressed in the G8 St Petersburg Declaration on Global Energy Security of 16 July 2006.

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