The Ministry of Natural Resources, Energy and Mining has challenged Malawi Energy Regulatory Authority (Mera) to regulate the energy sector to create a predictable and sustainable energy secure environment for development
Former minister Bintony Kutsaira was speaking in Lilongwe on Thursday during the launch of Mera’s 2020-2024 Strategic Plan and Customer Service Charter.
Kutsaira admitted that the lack of adequate energy in the country has been the single major constraint to national development.
He said: “Malawi’s energy sector is undergoing a transformation as the country races towards becoming a middle-income economy. The energy mix is expected to undergo further rebalancing to include new and renewable energy sources.
“Mera’s regulation of the industry should, therefore, result in predictable and reliable energy supplies to ensure the country has energy security in terms of supply, quality and distribution.”
The 2020-2024 Mera Strategic Plan has set out a comprehensive roadmap for reform of the energy sector.
Its objectives are to ensure that the sector becomes more performance oriented, more flexible and more responsive.
Mera board chairperson Joseph Bvumbwe described the strategic plan and the customer service charter launch as a renewal of commitment to regulate the energy sector for sustainable development in accordance with international best practices.
He said the customer service charter set standards to govern Mera’s performance and enhance customer service delivery as it is a promise that Mera will deliver the various services within the set time-frames to clients.
On his part, Puma Energy Malawi managing director Davies Lanjesi said as a player in the energy sector, he was encouraged with the public trust pillar where Mera wants to earn public trust through its service delivery.
He urged fellow players in the energy sector to comply with Mera regulations so that the energy sector serves its purpose.
He said: “We note that some players do not comply with basic regulatory requirements. Mera needs to strengthen its regulatory compliance audit so that the operating field is levelled to ensure fairness and competitive market.
“There are things that need improvement within Mera specifically on the technical aspect. This is in relation to, for instance, delays in implementing agreed upon reviewed decisions by the board.”
He commended Mera for operating independently by following agreed upon professional guidelines, a move away from political influence.
The strategic plan has four pillars which include positive contribution towards an energy secure nation, financial sustainability and diversifying Mera’s revenue base.
In the fourth pillar, Mera promises to earn public trust by enhancing transparency, opening communication, and demonstrating high standard of ethics.