Annual Forum Papers

Competition and Regulation in the Electricity Supply Industry in South Africa

  • Year: 2001
  • Organisation: University Cape Town
  • Author(s): Anton Eberhard

The South African Electricity Supply Industry (ESI) is dominated by a state-owned and vertically integrated utility, Eskom, which ranks seventh in the world in terms of size and electricity sales. It supplies about 96% of South Africa's electricity requirements which equals more than half of the electricity generated on the African continent. Eskom owns and controls the high voltage transmission grid1 and it supplies about 60% of electricity directly to customers. The remainder of electricity distribution is undertaken by about 240, recently amalgamated, local authorities. The municipal distributors buy bulk electricity from Eskom, with some also generating small amounts for sale in their areas of jurisdiction. A few industries have private generation facilities for their own use, accounting for 2.8% of total electricity produced.