Towards universal access : status of the KZN electrification programme 2013/14

Mthiyane, Zibuyisile (2014-12)

Thesis (MBA)--Stellenbosch University, 2014.


Census 2011 put the rate of electrification in South Africa at 84 percent. Even though this is a positive outcome to the previously recorded 34 percent, it has served as a clear indication that the target for Universal Access to Electricity by 2014 as set by President Jacob Zuma is unlikely to be achieved. In June 2013, cabinet approved the implementation of the new household electrification strategy and in support of this decision the Department of Energy was tasked to develop a new electrification roadmap or implementation plan. The intention of this research study has been to contribute to the development of this strategic plan by analysing the status of electrification in KwaZulu-Natal, as extracted from the provincial Geographical Information System, in order to identify the optimal electrification roll out plan and to develop guiding principles for the electrification of the province. The research outcomes provide a view of the current state of electrification within the province, identify the major technical constraints which hinder the progress, and provide recommendations for implementation roll out for KwaZulu-Natal province. The finding of this research is that of the 497 799 thousand un-electrified houses, 169 506 HH are not electrifiable as there is not sufficient capacity on the existing networks to cater for these households. Of those, 132 007 households are dependent on the establishment and construction of new bulk infrastructure such as substations and lines, while 37 499 are dependent on the upgrade or refurbishment of the existing infrastructure. The research has identified and categorised the ‘critical’ bulk infrastructure that will benefit 5 000 households or more as well as the high impact infrastructure projects that cater for 3 000 households or more. The research has also identified municipalities that are above the average of 84 percent electrification and categorised these as quick win areas to help in the progression toward universal access. As the research has also identified the dark havens, named as such due to being less than 50 percent electrified and plagued by technical constraints which makes any electrification of these areas not possible in the next five to ten years. Recommendations for responding to all four categories of findings are put forward.

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