Topic:Bangsamoro, Environment & Energy, Equalization, Intergovernmental Relations, Multi Level Governance, Multilevel Governance
Countries:Philippines, South Africa
This Policy Brief was produced with the generous financial support of Global Affairs
Canada and produced by the Forum of Federations through the Supporting Decentralized
and Inclusive Governance in the Philippines Programme. The views expressed here are
those of the author and do not reflect the views of the Canadian Government.
This policy brief provides an overview of the energy supply in South Africa in the context of
multi-level governance. It outlines the context of the powers and functions of the different
levels of government in the energy supply sector. Finally, it reflects on South Africa’s
advantages, disadvantages, and mistakes.
The primary energy provider is a government parastatal (Eskom) which has a monopoly
over electricity generation and the maintenance of the national energy grid. According to
the Electricity Regulation Act 4 of 20061, the national government may ‘license’ other state
organs to generate electricity or purchase power from independent power producers for
distribution. This clearly delineates a division in the roles and limits competition between
the public and private sectors.
The energy supply sector operates within a symmetrical, ‘integrated’ federation with
three levels of government (national and local), all functioning in cooperation with one
another. The constitutional division of powers is akin to an ‘hourglass model’ with a strong
center, weak provinces, and strong local governments. The Constitution divides the energy
function between national and local government, with no functions assigned to provinces.