Anti-competitive behaviour watchdog – Competition Authority and the regulator of the energy sector –Botswana Energy Regulatory Authority (BERA) this past week signed a Memorandum of Understanding aimed at enhancing cooperation regulatory matters between the two regulators within the energy sector.
Amongst other things the MOU will ensure that local consumers of energy products and services are protected and that all competition barriers in the energy sector are ultimately removed.
“This MoU will assist both authorities in executing their mandates and achieving their strategic goals. Both authorities have an obligation to ensure that services in the energy sector are provided in a competitive and non-discriminatory basis”, said Rose Seretse – CEO of BERA at the signing ceremony held in the capital Gaborone on Wednesday.
Seretse further said that BERA ensures tariffs in the energy sector are fixed on the basis of a tariff methodology set up in a transparent manner taking into account government policy and issues licences through a competitive process.
“This therefore protects the interests of customers and consumers. It is therefore imperative that we enter into this MoU with Competition Authority so that we may assist each other in stimulating competition in the energy sector”, added Seretse.
The Botswana Energy Regulatory Authority was established under Section 3 of the Botswana Energy Regulatory Authority Act of 2016 with the primary mandate of providing economic regulation of the energy sector in Botswana.
Its counterpart, Competition Authority on the other hand is a statutory body established under Section 4 of the Competition Act of 2009 with the mandate of preventing anti-competitive practices in the economy and removal of constraints on the free play of competition in the market and proving redress thereof.
The Competition Authority CEO – Tebelelo Pule noted at the signing ceremony that the CA has, since inception, signed a number of MOUs with other regulators and have found them to be an efficient platform of cooperation.
“We have no doubt that our MOU with BERA would also be fruitful. As you are aware, BERA is an Energy Regulator while the CA regulates competition across the economy. The CA will no doubt need technical expertise on energy related matters from BERA whenever the CA is seized with energy mergers, and competition investigations in the energy related sector”, Pule said.
As part of the MoU agreement, the two regulators are expected to start sharing of information as well as joint investigations, consultations, research, referrals and capacitation of employees.