South Africa; Power grid backlog at billions
The maintenance backlog of municipal electricity infrastructure is at about R35-billion and rising by R2,5-billion a year, Parliament heard yesterday.
iAfrica.com, 22 February, 2012
Municipalities are failing to invest in infrastructure because they need funds for operational expenses and because of uncertainty over the future ownership of the assets, MPs were told.
The government has been battling since the late 1990s to integrate the fragmented electricity distribution sector and has not come up with an alternative to its plan to create regional electricity distributors, which was ditched by the Cabinet in December 2010.
The condition of infrastructure continues to deteriorate, translating into more blackouts, and economic disruption. Copper theft adds to the problem of the distribution sector operated by Eskom and 187 municipalities.
Department of Energy director general Nelisiwe Magubane told a meeting of three parliamentary committees an intergovernmental team was examining options to fund investment in distribution infrastructure.
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