President Ian Khama has assented to the Botswana Energy Regulatory Authority Bill which was passed by Parliament in August 2016, Business Trends can reveal.
Principal Energy Engineer in the Department of Energy, Baruti Regoeng revealed to Business Trends this Tuesday that, on the 26th September last week, President Khama put his signature to the bill. “What is now left is to establish the office of the energy regulator and this will happen once the Minister signifies the commencement date.
This office will need to be financed and we are already towards the end of the financial year,” he explained.This comes at a time when industry players such as Botswana Oil and multinational operators amongst others, had been pressing for the establishment of the regulatory body.
At the time the bill was passed in August, the then Minister of Ministry of Minerals Energy and Water Resources, Kitso Mokaila, told parliamnet that the authority would be responsible for providing an efficient regulatory framework for the regulated sector in accordance with the Act, with the primary mandate of providing the economic regulation of the sector.“It would be responsible for ensuring sustainable and secure supplies in the regulated sector.
Ensuring tariffs in the regulated sector are fixed on the basis of a tariff methodology that has been set up in a transparent manner taking into account government policy on cross subsidies between classes of consumers and setting and maintaining standards,” Mokaila stated.
The authority would also be expected to protect and preserve the environment as well as ensuring that the regulation of the energy sector is done in accordance with the best international regulatory practice.
According to the minister the authority will have functions such as regulating tariffs, including allowed revenue for regulated entities and regulate coal supply agreements between collieries, coal suppliers and price-regulated generators.
Gov’t swiftly acts on BMC
Government has moved swiftly to place Botswana Meat Commission under the care of a management firm; the move is meant to put the Commission into shape both operationally and financially.
This was disclosed by Finance and Economic Development Minister, Dr Thapelo Matsheka, further stating the BMC is technically insolvent despite having received nearly P1billion as a bailout in recent times. The new management company will run BMC, which is based in Lobatse starting on the 2020/2021 financial year.
The finance minister made it crystal clear that, the move to appoint a caretaker firm for BMC was made to protect the interests of all stakeholders, including farmers. According to Matsheka, the Minister of Agriculture Development and Food Security, Dr Edwin Dikoloti will provide more details on the BMC changes in due course during his committee of supply speech. Government is also proceeding with the conversion of BMC to a company under the Companies Act following the approval of BMC Transition Bill and subsequent repeal of the old Act.
The repealing of the BMC Act has since eliminated the monopoly of the Commission when it comes to beef and cattle export. The repeal has also enabled government to establish a beef regulator which will be responsible for regulating the beef and the cattle sector. “Another aspect of the transition is the ultimate privatization of BMC.
The objective of the privatization of BMC is, among others, to engage the private sector in the ownership and management of the BMC to achieve operational efficiency and profitability, as well as reduce Government’s future financial commitments in the entity. This would be an important process in the transformation of the beef and cattle sector,” noted Matsheka. BMC which is 100 percent owned by government has been operating with losses for many years due to internal and external challenges such as poor supply and Foot and Mouth Disease(FMD).
BSE invite companies for CSD project
Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE) has intentions to implement a new Central Securities Depository (CSD) system by the second quarter of next year.
Authorities at the bourse have already put out a call for companies to perform a post migration data verification and quality assessment from the current depository system to a new depository system set to go live in the first half of 2020.“As part of the project, the BSE is to migrate master data and reference data from the current system to the new CSD system,” said BSE in a statement released this week.
According to BSE, the project will include comprehension of the BSE Data Migration Strategy and Plan and data mapping design and rules, review of the data migration ETL processes, data quality verification completeness, accuracy, consistency, definition and scope of data to migrate. In addition, BSE said it will migrate only active or open transactions in the current system to the new system. The scope of open transactions includes active or running corporate actions, active investor accounts, investor account balances above zero, active participants, active issuers and active instruments.
Meanwhile, BSE Chief Executive Officer, Thapelo Tsheole is on record citing that the new CSD system comes with functionalities such as securities borrowing and lending (SBL), management of the settlement guarantee fund, initial public offering (IPO) processing, e-voting for listed entities, repo management and online investor access.
Commenced in the first quarter of 2019, the project is also an integral element of the ongoing single CSD project pioneered by the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, Non-Bank Financial Institutions Regulatory Authority and BSE.
The system is also expected to help increase the CSD system ratings by Thomas Murray, an assessment of which will be conducted once the system has been commissioned in early 2020.