On Tuesday, state-owned power utility Eskom, announced that the utility has successfully completed 5,620 self-funded electrification connections as well as 1,080 farm dweller connections in the 2014/15 financial year.

Funded by the Department of Energy (DoE), Eskom maintains the ongoing operational costs of these connections and receives revenue for electricity sold.

Growing demand for electrification connections

With the national electricity demand on a constant incline, the utility is fast-tracking the development of new power stations and high voltage power lines.

[quote]According to the utility, which supplies 95% of the country’s energy consumption, the electrification programme is now 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.

Expanding beyond borders

In November last year, the Southern African Power Pool (SAPP) said it plans to construct a power transmission line between South Africa and Botswana, in a bid to enhance connectivity and electricity trading between the two neighbours and the entire Southern African region.

The Southern Times reported at the time that the transmission interconnector project will be named ‘BOSA’ and the Southern African Power Pool Coordination Centre will oversee its operation.

Eskom said in a statement that following the election of a democratic government, access to electricity increased from 35% of households in 1990 to 84% in 2011, according to Statistics South Africa 2012.