Key Lessons on Institutional Arrangements for Managing the Restructuring of National Power Utilities


South Africa is embarking on a process of power sector reform focused on restructuring the country’s biggest state-owned enterprise, Eskom. The initiative is primarily driven by concerns about the economic implications of an ongoing electricity supply crisis and the impact of Eskom’s enormous debt burden on the country’s fiscus. On 15 December 2018, President Cyril Ramaphosa appointed a team of high-level experts (the Eskom Sustainability Task Team), to provide expert support to the reform process.

As a key input into the Task Team’s work of designing and planning the reform, OneWorld was contracted to identify and analyse a range of experiences from other countries that have carried out similar power sector restructuring, and to make recommendations for managing the process. The OneWorld team developed a policy note presenting six country case studies, analysing a range of experiences with electricity sector restructuring, with a specific focus on institutional and governance arrangements. The six countries selected - Uganda, Kenya, Mexico, Norway, Turkey and India - represent several global regions and a range of high-, middle- and low-income countries. The team drew key lessons from these studies and provided a set of recommendations for governing and managing South Africa’s current efforts in power sector restructuring, based on the key findings.

Specific outputs OneWorld was responsible for delivering included:

  • Mapping of relevant country examples and development of four case studies (Uganda, Mexico, Turkey and India) on country experiences with governance and institutional set up of power sector reform
  • Synthesis of key lessons from global experiences with power sector reform
  • Recommendations for managing South Africa’s efforts to restructure its electricity sector

Project Data

Partners/Funder: Managing Infrastructure Investment Reform and Regulation in Africa (MIRA) Programme

Region: South Africa

Project duration: April – May 2019