oa Africa Insight - Electric power in Africa

Volume 17, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 0256-2804



There are two major regional electricity grid systems in southern Africa. The one centres on South Africa, with supply lines connecting to Swaziland, Lesotho, Botswana, Mozambique and SWA/Namibia. The other is the Zambia-Zimbabwe grid centred on the Kariba and Kafue hydroelectric power-stations, with minor connections to Shaba province in Zaire and to northern Botswana. Angola and Malawi are the only countries that are not connected to one or other of these regional grid systems. In 1982 South Africa accounted for 54 per cent of Africa's consumption of electricity and for 80 per cent of southern Africa's installed capacity (Table 1). The Electricity Supply Commission (Escom), established in 1922, is the statutory body responsible for the generation and distribution of electricity in the RSA and accounts for 93 per cent of the total output.

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