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SA electrification target hits high

South African power company today announced that it has exceeded its electrification target for the second quarter of this financial year.

The group executive for Eskom distribution, Mongezi Ntsokolo, noted that 101,067 connections, with 99,991 connections energised have been achieved to date.

He added that this means “people are already using electricity against a target of 97,513 year-to-date.

“At this rate, we are gradually moving towards our target of 207,332 connections by the end of this financial year (31 March 2017).”

Electrification targets

The executive added that focus is being placed on the Eastern Cape, Limpopo and KwaZulu-Natal provinces in order to address backlogs, thus making life easier for South Africans.

The parastatal said that ZAR17.6 billion ($1.2 billion) was announced by National Treasury this year to assist Eskom and municipalities roll out the electrification programme.

The programme intends to benefit over 800,000 households over the next three years.

In addition, 70,000 households will be connected through non-grid technologies such as solar photovoltaic (PV).

Recent connections

Last week the utility said that it had connected over 300 households in the Limpopo Province to the national electricity grid for the first time.

The ‘switch on’ took place in Bela-Bela and Mookgopong as part of government’s electrification programme aimed at improving the quality of life of our fellow South Africans, the utility said in a statement.

According to the utility, each household that is electrified brings the nation a step closer to service delivery and poverty alleviation, with more to be connected to the grid in an effort to achieve universal access by 2025.

Eskom is building new power stations and high voltage power lines to meet South Africa’s growing energy demand.

The electrification programme is also being implemented in more remote areas, where the construction of network infrastructure is more expensive due to the distances involved and, in some cases, the difficult terrain encountered.

In the next three years, Eskom and municipalities will spend ZAR17.6 billion ($1.2 billion) to connect over 840,000 households to the national grid, and an additional 70,000 households will be connected through non-grid solar electrification programmes, the parastatal noted.

Ashley Theron
Ashley Theron-Ord is based in Cape Town, South Africa at Clarion Events-Africa. She is the Senior Content Producer across media brands including ESI Africa, Smart Energy International, Power Engineering International and Mining Review Africa.