When it comes to discussing the law related to energy in South Africa, it is important to determine what constitutes energy in South Africa – that is the mix of energy sources in this country. The primary energy sources are coal, oil, gas and nuclear power with a recent focus on renewable energies and biomass. Since this mix is so varied, it makes sense that the legal landscape pertaining to energy will be equally as varied, as each industry is subject to its own laws and regulations.
The main sources of law for matters related to energy stem from:
- Common law definitions of the nature of energy
- The constitution
Legislation comprises a laundry list of acts that regulate everything from electricity generation to mining for the materials to generate said electricity. Some key pieces of legislation to keep in mind include:
- The National Energy Act, 34 of 2008
- Nuclear Energy Regulator Act 47 of 1999
- Petroleum Products Act, 120 of 1977
- Gas Act 48 of 2001
Under The National Energy Act, the National Energy Regulator or NERSA was established to regulate energy industries including petroleum, electricity and piped gas. The role of a regulator is to make sure that these industries follow the letter of the law to provide South African citizens with energy resources fairly.
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