South Africa’s Department of Energy has set a target of connecting 1.4 million households to the grid, according to the government’s medium term strategic framework plan despite national utility Eskom requiring government bailouts.

A mid-term policy statement from the Treasury said although there had been delays in meeting earlier projections due to “ administrative obstacles such as lead times for the procurement of material”, performance is expected to improve in the second half of the year, CNBCAfrica reports.

The Treasury document highlighted work being done to improve the country’s energy infrastructure.

“In the first six months of the year, four substations were completed and four substations were upgraded.

“Two integrated energy centres (at Ngwaabe and Tembisile) are currently under construction.

“The Ngwaabe centre is expected to be completed by November 2014, while the Thembisile centre is expected to be completed by 31 March 2015.”

Infrastructure upgrades

The Department of Energy said it had upgraded eight kilometres of existing medium voltage power lines by mid-year, which is significantly below the annual target of 220 kilometres.

The mid-term statement said about ZAR4.970 million had been rolled over for payments to service providers to conduct a study on the energy footprint and energy savings potential in heavy industries, according to the CNBCAfrica report.

“The study was conducted to support evidence based policy development in the integrated energy plan.

“In addition, the study is expected to inform the future targets of the national energy efficiency strategy from 2016 to 2030.”

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