Can SA meet its new target for universal electricity access?

The initiative by government to electrify the households of previously disadvantaged South Africans is generally regarded as one of the significant achievements of the democratic era. However, it is also widely accepted that it cannot be ‘business as usual’ if the country is to achieve the goal of universal access to modern energy for all South Africans by 2025 – a target that will require a combination of grid and nongrid technologies to be met.

Eskom senior GM Andrew Etzinger says access to electricity remains an imperative for economic development, but adds that there are budgetary and human-resource constraints to electrifying “all South Africans at one go”. Read on Engineering News >>

Can Obama’s Africa power plan hold a candle to China?

Polity.org.za 2 July 2013.

US President Barack Obama’s $7-billion plan to shine “light where currently there’s darkness” in Africa by doubling access to power on the world’s poorest continent was billed as a highlight of his African tour.

He announced the Power Africa initiative in Cape Town on Sunday in a speech which he also urged the fast-growing but still troubled region to follow the shining example of South Africa’s anti-apartheid hero Nelson Mandela

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City Power’s R6.7bn capex plan prioritises network stability, smart meters

Polity.org.za 20 June 2013.

Johannesburg’s electricity utility City Power has confirmed that it will invest R6.7-billion over the coming three years in a bid to improve network stability, roll-out of smart meters and electrify areas that remain unconnected.

It was confirmed in May that City Power, which has been criticised for service disruptions, poor maintenance systems and under investing in the network, would also receive an operating allocation of R13.2-billion for the three-year period.

MD Sicelo Xulu said in a statement that network stability was a priority and that R188-million would be spent on upgrading overhead power lines over the period, with R80-million earmarked for 2013/14…

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Mondi invests in energy projects as it targets 97.5% self-sufficiency

Pulp and paper group Mondi on Thursday confirmed it had put aside €170-million in capital expenditure for energy and debottlenecking projects, with the aim of achieving 97.5% energy self-sufficiency across its operations…

http://www.engineeringnews.co.za/article/mondi-invests-in-energy-projects-as-it-targets-975-self-sufficiency-2012-02-23

World Bank bars Alstom units for ‘improper payment’

The World Bank on Wednesday barred two subsidiaries of French engineering company Alstom from participating in projects financed by the global development bank for the next three years for “improper payment” in a Zambian hydropower project.

http://www.engineeringnews.co.za/article/world-bank-bars-alstom-units-for-improper-payment-2012-02-22

SA’s environment deteriorating

Business Report 13 February 2012.

South Africa’s natural environment has, over the past 20 years, deteriorated nearly the fastest of most countries in the world, Beeld newspaper reported on Monday.

This was the finding of a group of scientists at the universities of Yale and Columbia, in the United States, who measured the state of the environment in 132 countries, in collaboration with the World Economic Forum.

South Africa was in 128th place, with Iraq last on the list…

http://www.iol.co.za/business/business-news/sa-s-environment-deteriorating-1.1232691