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Title: Electricity crisis in Soweto
Authors: Fiil-Flynn, Maj
Soweto Electricity Crisis Committee
McDonald, David A
Bond, Patrick
Date: Aug-2001
Series/Report no.: Occasional papers series / Queen's University, Municipal Services Project; no. 4
Abstract: One of the priorities of the African National Congress (ANC) when it came to power in 1994 was to make electricity accessible and affordable to all South Africans. In some respects the government has been successful in this regard, having connected more than 2.5 million additional homes to the electricity grid with plans for 600 000 more connections by the end of 2002. This push to expand access to electricity has been undermined, however, by its lack of affordability. High per-unit costs for township dwellers – typically 30% higher than white suburban areas and up to ten times higher than off-peak prices offered to industry – has meant that low-income households are unable to purchase the volume of electricity they need to sustain even the most basic requirements of heating and cooking. Self-imposed reductions of electricity usage, combined with aggressive cutoffs by Eskom for nonpayment of bills, has meant that tens of thousands of low-income households are without the electricity they need, with dire consequences for public health and safety and poverty alleviation. This report provides the first detailed case study of access and affordability to electricity in the township of Soweto, in Johannesburg. Although not necessarily indicative of electricity supply and pricing in the country as a whole, the findings presented here raise some troubling questions about the effects of cost recovery on essential services for the rural and urban poor...
ISBN: 0-88911-974-0
Project Number: 100192
Project Title: Municipal Services Restructuring (South Africa)
Municipal Services and Health in Southern Africa - Phase II
Access: Open Access
Copyright: Municipal Services Project
License: OA Permission Letter; copyright statement required on document
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