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BERA launches complaints settlement regulations

BERA CEO: Rose Seretse
BERA CEO: Rose Seretse

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Botswana Energy Regulatory Authority (BERA), Rose Nunu Seretse recently launched the Authority’s Complaints Settlement Procedure Regulations – 2021.

The regulations, which came into effect on the 19th February 2021, are meant to ensure proper settlement of consumer complaints, in line with the Authority’s mandate of providing an efficient energy regulatory framework for the energy sector.

Seretse explained that the BERA Complaints Settlement Procedure Regulations – 2021 empower any person to lodge a complaint against a licensed operator with the Authority.

“A complaint may be in the form of correspondence, electronic or otherwise,” said Seretse.

However, she highlighted that BERA will only determine complaints after the customer has exhausted all the licensed operator’s internal dispute settlement procedures and is dissatisfied with outcome thereof.

After receiving the complaint, BERA will summon the licenced operator, after which they will be expected to present their defence within 14 days.

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The Authority will then proceed to investigate the matter on its merits.

During investigations, each party will be required to furnish the Authority with any information or documentation it may require in discharging its duty.

Any person or corporate body that refuses to furnish the Authority with such information or documentation would have committed an offence and be liable to a fine.

“BERA is empowered to dismiss any complaint that it finds to be frivolous or vexatious. Where the complaint appears to be meritorious, the Authority will institute a mediation process between the complainant and the licensed operator. If an amicable settlement is reached, such settlement shall be deemed as an award of the Authority,” said Seretse.

If it fails to broker an amicable settlement, BERA will proceed to convene quasi-judicial complaint hearing proceedings and later come up with a verdict.

“Any party that may be aggrieved by the decision of the Authority may appeal to the High Court within 30 days,” said Seretse in conclusion.

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