The repealed Electricity Act of 1963 established the Swaziland Electricity Board (SEB, the predecessor to the present company) as a body corporate with the power to sue and be sued in its own name. The mandate of the organisation was to generate, transmit, distribute and supply electricity. This now repealed legal regime gave the organisation wide ranging powers as far as the Electricity Supply Industry (ESI) was concerned, and also empowered SEB to import and export electricity.
The said legal regime also gave SEB the power to regulate the Electricity Industry in Swaziland. This meant that SEB was both the player and the referee in the business. As such it was a criminal offence to generate, transmit, distribute or supply electricity without a license granted by SEB. Detractors of this situation criticized the arrangement for being a monopoly while proponents claimed that such a monopoly was necessary, especially during the industry's formative years.
Power activities for which a license is required are as follows:
It is an offence to generate, transmit, distribute or supply electricity without a license duly issued or granted by the Energy Regulatory Authority. Any person found to have done this outside the parameters of the law is guilty of an offence and may be fined an amount of up to E50 000, sentenced to 2 years imprisonment or both.
The new legal regime, with this kind of foresight, establishes institutions to facilitate conflict resolution amongst stakeholders in teh electricity sector. One of the main institutions provided for in this regard is the Electricity Disputes Tribunal which will have jurisdiction to hear " determine all matters / disputes referred to it relating to the electricity sector. The Tribunal's decisions are binding to all affected parties.
Regarding hearing applications for the generation, transmission, distribution and supply of electricity, the Authority is obliged by the Act to act in a just manner administratively.
The Authority's decisions should be taken within a procedurally fair process and applicants for licenses should be heard before decisions against them are made. Decisions of the Authority must be reasonable and the determining factors should be disclosed if required.
Any party aggrieved by the decision of the Authority may review the proceedings in a court of law. The Authority also has the powers to arbitrate disputes in the ESI and these services are available upon request.
The objectives of the company are to generate, transmit, distribute and supply electricity also to import and export it into and out of Swaziland. This new company will be subject to regulation by the Energy Regulatory Authority.
PO Box 258
Tel: (00268) 2 409 4000
Fax: (00268) 2 404 2335