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Morocco will abolish delegated management of water, electricity and sanitation

The Ministry of the Interior has launched a process of profound transformation of the current system of liquid sanitation and distribution of electricity and drinking water. A process to reform the current system for managing the distribution of electricity, drinking water and liquid sanitation has been launched.

An in-depth, ambitious and unprecedented process, which will result in a system completely different from what we know.

Ultimately, the delegatees and management companies will completely leave this sector. They will be replaced by regional multiservice companies (SRM), public limited companies. The reform process formally began on July 29, 2021, with the signing of a memorandum of understanding between three ministers and the Director General of ONEE.

Here are the explanations we got from Mustapha El Habti, governor and director of local public networks at the Ministry of the Interior.

The water and electricity distribution services as well as liquid sanitation are currently managed by many stakeholders: delegatees, authorities, ONEE, the municipalities themselves and associations, depending on the area.

This patchwork was gradually built up according to needs, territories and contexts. He has rendered services, sometimes improving services; other times, to make big, much-needed investments. But the system has shown its limits, explains El Habti. Heavier investments will indeed be necessary. And the new system will allow better equity between territories, as between urban and rural.

The new system will keep part of the old one, notably the staff and the multiservice organization which is a Moroccan model. This multiservice experience is taken for granted. Operators already know how to manage the three types of services in parallel.

Pricing will be maintained and equalization between the three types of benefits will serve this objective.

A complex preparation, a step-by-step transition

Two committees were created following the signing of the memorandum on July 29: a monitoring committee led by the Interior and the other signatories, and a steering committee chaired by the Minister of the Interior.

These two committees constitute the governance bodies of the reform project. The work of the committees has started: drafting of a draft law, inventory of assets and liabilities, inventory of personnel, list of goods, structures, installations, … The mapping of services, actors and installations is in progress. being established, explains Mustapha El Habti.

The SRMs will have the status of public limited companies with public shareholding (local authorities, regions, Interior). The first step will be to create them with a specific text.

They will inherit assets and resources, as well as personnel. The workforce is estimated at around 20,000 people, who will be integrated into the SRMs with their seniority, assets, allowances, …

The next step will be to liquidate the existing boards and replace them with the SRMs. The delegated management contracts will, for their part, be maintained until they expire.

Dates to remember

– July 29, 2021: signing of a memorandum of understanding between three ministers (Abdelouafi Laftit, Mohamed Benchaâboun and Aziz Rabbah) and the CEO of ONEE (Abderrahim Hafidi). This document contains the main lines of the reform, its horizon, its reasons, its objective as well as the commitments of the various parties.

– Next weeks: the legislative and / or regulatory texts will be placed in the circuits to give a legal basis to this ambitious reform.

– January 1, 2022: the new SRMs will be operational in four pilot regions, Casablanca-Settat, Marrakech-Safi, Guelmim-Oued Noun and Souss-Massa.

– January 1, 2023: SRMs will be operational in the 12 regions of Morocco.

– 2026-2027: The contracts of the delegatees Lydec, Amendis and Redal will end and will not be renewed.

The future

According to the organic law on municipalities, the management of the distribution of water, electricity and liquid sanitation are the prerogatives of the latter.

The upcoming law will therefore provide for a contractual framework between the municipalities and the SRMs.

A detailed business plan by region has already been drawn up, confirming the value of this new approach, reveals Mr. El Habti. He specifies that the SRMs will keep state subsidies, while mobilizing their own investments.

The new system will eliminate duplication (in investments, for example), guarantee more efficiency in public action, professionalize management and modernize it throughout the territory and not just in a few urban centers, concludes our interlocutor.

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