Welcome to the Energy One Stop Shop website (Energy OSS), the main resource for energy authorisations and information enabling new generation capacity in South Africa.

The Energy One Stop Shop is among the initiatives announced by President Ramaphosa in July 2022, in the Energy Action Plan

Why does the Energy OSS Matter?

The Energy OSS offers a single point of entry for all energy project applications. It does this by coordinating all approval processes across the government. The result is a streamlined, effective and client-facing Energy application process.

The Energy OSS facilitates all approvals for Energy related Applications.


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Centralised information on various energy project applications to facilitate new investments into South Africa's energy sector


Increased transparency in the energy approvals process by monitoring the progress of approvals through the system and communicating with developers


Coordination of the process to ensure that applications can be reviewed simultaneously, where possible, injecting speed into the system


The South African government is moving to exclude solar photovoltaic (PV) and battery storage facilities from the requirement to obtain environmental authorisation in areas where the environmental sensitivity is officially classified to be medium to low.

Govt moves to ease enviro path for solar and battery projects

The South African government is moving to exclude solar photovoltaic (PV) and battery storage facilities from the requirement to obtain environmental authorisation in areas where the environmental sensitivity is officially classified to be medium to low.

Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment Minister Barbara Creecy is seeking public comment on the plan, which is outlined in a Government Gazette notice, indicating that the exclusion has been proposed in terms of Section 24(2)(d) of the National Environmental Management Act, 1998 (Nema) and applies subject to compliance with a prescribed ‘norm’ developed in terms of 24(10) of Nema.

This ‘norm’ makes it possible to exclude the development and expansion of solar PV and battery facilities from environmental impact assessment regulations in areas of low or medium environmental sensitivity.

Such projects will be subject to a site-sensitivity verification and will also need to comply with a site-specific environmental management programme and a registration process.

The department has developed a Web-based screening tool to identify environmental sensitivities of a specific geographical location or site related to various identified environmental themes.

The proposed exclusion comes amid frequent and intense power cuts and an assessment hat South Africa needs to add about 6 000 MW of new generation capacity to close the supply/demand gap and create space for higher levels of maintenance of Eskom’s unreliable coal fleet.

It also follows a decision to termite a state of disaster declare in respect of the electricity crisis and to, instead, take actions using existing legislation and regulation.

“This is in line with the sector’s ongoing efforts to simplify the environmental legislative impact assessment framework for energy projects whilst ensuring that environmental protection is not compromised,” the department said in a statement, adding that the intention of the proposed exclusions is to improve the efficiency of the environmental assessment process.

“In addition, these exclusions intend to simplify the deployment of solar PV and battery storage facilities, to expedite the generation of electricity from renewable energy resources, facilitate the distribution of this generation capacity and contribute to addressing the existing electricity shortages currently being experienced by the country.”

The Gazette states that written comments should be made within 30 days of publication of on the notice, which is dated April 14.

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he Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS), as custodian of water resources in South Africa, is in charge of managing and regulating the country's water resources and watercourses to ensure their conservation and protection.

Water Use Licence Application and General Authorisation: Application and registration requirements for water uses in terms of Section 21 (c) and (i) of the National Water Act. 1998 (Act No. 3

(Virtual Showroom): The Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS), as custodian of water resources in South Africa, is in charge of managing and regulating the country's water resources and watercourses to ensure their conservation and protection. In its efforts to promote the efficient and sustainable utilisation of water resources, the Department is committed to ensuring that water is used wisely and managed sustainably. As part of this responsibility, DWS has established legislation requiring the submission of Water Use Licence Application (WULA) or General Authorisation(GA) registration applications to licence or register water use related activities.

All activities that impede, divert the flow of a watercourse or alter the bed, banks, course or characteristics of a watercourse requires licencing or registration by DWS in terms of Section 21(c) and (i) of the National Water Act, 1998 (Act No. 36 of 1998), as amended (NWA), or the Government Notice (GN 509 of 2016) (depending on the risk the activity poses on the watercourse). Water use licencing is a regulatory mechanism used to manage water resources and to ensure its use is undertaken in a responsible and sustainable manner.

The legal procedural requirements for the WULA are set out in the Regulations regarding the Procedural Requirements for Water Use Licence Applications and Appeals, published in GN R267 in Government Gazette 40713 of 24 March 2017.

During the initial phase of the application or registration process, a detailed description of the proposed use of the water should be provided, including the type and description of the activity, the relevant industry sector, the distance to the nearest watercourse, and the number of people who will benefit from the acquisition of a licence or registration. This information is submitted to the relevant regional office, whereupon a pre-application meeting will be held with the water user, the DWS, and the consultant facilitating the application or registration process. During this stage, it will be beneficial to have, by this stage, undertaken the risk assessment by a specialist in the field as required by GN 509 of 2016. One of the aims of the risk assessment is to determine if the activity proposed to be undertaken will result in a low, medium, or high impact on watercourses and thereby determine if a water use licence or registration process needs to proceed to licence or register the water uses in terms of Section 21(c) and (i) of the NWA.

It is important that all requirements and information necessary to properly process the application needs to be provided to ensure the application and/ or registration application will be processed. It should be noted that requirements may differ depending on the type of project or industry sector. In addition, the respective regional office of the DWS may also prescribe additional requirements that may need to be complied with.

Generally, the typical licencing and registration requirements for Section 21 (c) and (i) water use activities for the GA Registration and WULA include the following:

  • Geographical location of the water use activities.
  • Identity Document (ID) copy of the applicant.
  • Company registration certificate.
  • The property title deeds.
  • A consultant appointment letter or power of attorney.
  • Risk assessment in terms of GN 509 of 2016.
  • Water Use Summary Report and Motivational Report to address Section 27 of the NWA

Should the water use activities be required to be licenced by means of a WULA, the following additional information will be required to be submitted:

  • Master layout map and site plans.
  • Landowner consent letters (if the water user is not the property owner)
  • Wetland delineation report.
  • Rehabilitation Plan.
  • Method Statement.
  • Storm Water Management Plan.
  • Hydrological Study and Floodline Delineation.
  • Design report and drawings (all drawings and reports must be signed by the professional engineer, and the registration number must also be reflected on the report and drawings).
  • Landscape Maintenance Plan.
  • Plant Species Plan (A1 paper).
  • Monitoring Programme and Auditing Plan.
  • Water Use Summary Report.
  • Water Use Technical Report.
  • Public Participation Report (capturing comments and responses during the sixty-day public participation process).

The DWS has announced for 2020 that the decision making timeframes to grant or decline a Water Use Licence have been reduced from 300 days to 90 days.

As a result of the shortened review and decision making timeframes, it is essential to ensure that the final application submitted to DWS is of a sufficient and adequate technical quality as well as contain all the necessary information to avoid a potential rejection.

By being aware of the information requirements, the environmental assessment practitioner facilitating the process on behalf of the applicant can ensure steps are taken to allow for effective planning of resources during the initial phases of a potential project, thereby avoiding application rejection, delays, and financial constraints that could have been avoided with good planning at the earliest stages of a project.

ENVASS is in the position to assist clients with the facilitation of all WULA or GA registration applications.

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South African Briefing on Energy crises

Minister of Electricity announcement

Government update on energy action Plan

Energy One Stop Shop- Interview with Head of the Energy One Stop Shop, Mr. Lester Bouah, by Mr. Cameron Mackay from Creamer Media’s Real Economy Report

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