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What and Who is NERSA?

The National Energy Regulator (NERSA) is a regulatory authority established as a juristic person in terms of Section 3 of the National Energy Regulator Act, 2004 (Act No. 40 of 2004).

NERSA’s mandate is to regulate the electricity, piped-gas and petroleum pipelines industries in terms of the Electricity Regulation Act, 2006 (Act No. 4 of 2006), Gas Act, 2001 (Act No. 48 of 2001) and Petroleum Pipelines Act, 2003 (Act No. 60 of 2003).

The structure of the Energy Regulator consists of nine members, five of whom are part-time and four are full-time, including the Chief Executive Office (CEO). The Energy Regulator is supported by personnel under the direction of the CEO.

The mandate of NERSA is derived from legislation governing and prescribing the role and functions of the Regulator.


To be a recognised world-class leader in energy regulation


To regulate the energy industry in accordance with government laws and policies, standards and international best practices in support of sustainable and orderly development


  • Passion
    •  Spirit of Partnership
    •  Excellence
    •  Innovation
    •  Integrity
    •  Responsibility
    •  Professionalism
    •  Pride

Regulatory Principles

In regulating the three industries, NERSA must adhere to sound principles and approaches to be able to deliver on its mandate and achieve its objectives.

Underpinned by NERSA’s legal mandate, NERSA adopted the following internationally accepted regulatory principles to underpin its regulatory approach:

  • Transparency: The Energy Regulator is required to explain its decisions and processes to regulated entities and other interested

parties, implying that the data or information that the decision is based on, is readily available and the reasoning behind it is readily explained. This covers public consultation and accessibility.

  • Neutrality: The Energy Regulator should be neutral to all market players without favouring one or other group (non-discrimination).
  • Consistency and Predictability: Decisions must be consistent and should have a reasonable degree of predictability based on previous rulings in similar cases.
  • Independence: The independence of the Energy Regulator from the regulated companies is a prerequisite for any sound regulatory system. Independence from political influence is also desirable to ensure long-term stability of regulatory practices. Avoidance of regulatory capture by some customer groups is also necessary for successful regulation.
  • Accountability: The Energy Regulator should be accountable for its actions and decisions. Independence must not be confused with the lack of accountability.
  • Integrity: The Energy Regulator should exercise honesty, fairness and sincerity in the management of the Energy Regulator’s affairs and in all its dealings with stakeholders.• Efficiency: The Energy Regulator should make the best use of resources to further the regulatory objectives by exercising objectivity and commitment to evidence-based strategies for improvement.

    Public Interest: The Energy Regulator should endeavour to take decisions in the interest of the public as far as possible


NERSA’s Mandate is anchored in:

4 Primary Acts:
•    National Energy Regulator Act, 2004 (Act No. 40 of 2004);
•    Electricity Regulation Act, 2006 (Act No. 4 of 2006) (ERA);
•    Gas Act, 2001 (Act No. 48 of 2001); and
•    Petroleum Pipelines Act, 2003 (Act No. 60 of 2003).

3 Levies Acts:
•    Gas Regulator Levies Act, 2002 (Act No. 75 of 2002);
•    Petroleum Pipelines Levies Act, 2004 (Act No. 28 of 2004); and
•    Section 5B of the Electricity Act, 1987 (Act No. 41 of 1987).

3 Facilitating Acts:
•    Public Finance Management Act, 1999 (Act No. 1 of 1999) (PFMA);
•    Promotion of Access to Information Act, 2000 (Act No. 2 of 2000) (PAIA); and
•    Promotion of Administrative Justice Act, 2000 (Act No. 3 of 2000) (PAJA).

•    Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996.

•    All other applicable laws of the Republic.

The mandate of NERSA, as contained in relevant legislation, is summarised as follows:
•    Issuing of licences and setting pertinent conditions;
•    Setting and/or approving  tariffs and prices;
•    Monitoring and enforcing compliance with licence conditions;
•    Dispute resolution including mediation, arbitration and the handling of complaints;
•    Gathering, storing and disseminating industry information;
•    Setting of rules, guidelines and codes for the regulation of the three industries;
•    Determination of conditions of supply and applicable standards; and
•    Registration of import and production activities.

Strategic Outcome Oriented Goals

The strategic outcome oriented goals of NERSA are cascaded from the mandate and reflect the key policy priorities of government. These goals attest to NERSA’s role in facilitating the achievement of the national socio-economic and socio-political development agenda. The strategic outcome oriented goals, within the limit of NERSA’s mandate are:
1.    To facilitate Security of Supply in order to support sustainable socio-economic development in South Africa;
2.    To facilitate investment in and access to infrastructure in the energy industry to support sustainable socio-economic development  in South Africa;
3.    To promote competitive and efficient functioning as well as orderly development of the energy industry in order to sustain socio-economic development in South Africa;
4.    To facilitate affordability of and accessibility to the energy to balance economic interests of all stakeholders in support of socio-economic development of South Africa and a better life for all; and
5.    To position and establish NERSA as a credible and reliable regulator in order to create regulatory certainty.

Strategic Objectives

The strategic objectives of NERSA expressed as the desired end state of the energy industry are stated as:
•    Promote energy supply that is certain and secure for current and future user needs;
•    Create a regulatory environment that facilitates investment in energy infrastructure;
•    Promote competition and competitiveness within the energy industry;
•    Promote regulatory certainty within the energy industry;
•    Promote accessible and affordable energy for all citizens; and
•    Establish and position NERSA as a credible and reliable regulator.


In order to achieve its outcome oriented goals NERSA will deliver on its strategic objectives through the following structured programmes:
•    Setting and/or approving tariffs and prices;
•    Licensing and registration;
•    Compliance monitoring and enforcement;
•    Dispute resolution including mediation, arbitration and the handling of complaints;
•    Setting of rules, guidelines and codes for the regulation of the three industries; and
•    Establishing NERSA as an efficient and effective regulator.