Increased urbanisation in the face of scarcity of resources to expand and maintain energy plants, has contributed to the fact that only 22 % Botswana’s population have access to electricity. The SADC average for percentage electrification is at most 20 %.

The Ministry of Mineral Resources and Water Resources has overall responsibility for power. BPC (The Botswana Power Corporation) reports to the Ministry and generates, transmits and distributes electricity in Botswana, under the provisions of the Botswana Power Corporation Act. BPC imports electricity from ESKOM, from the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority and, since 1991, from Zambia.

Eskom is experiencing a downward trend in electricity consumption and thus net profits decreased by 10.8% in 1998 and are expected to continue falling. Khoza, a joint venture agreement between Eskom, the Zambian Electricity Supply Corporation and Snel (an electrical utility in the democratic republic of Congo), has secured contract work in Botswana. In August 1999 a R43 million project between SA Company, ABB Transmission and Distribution and BPC began. This project will strengthen electricity supply to Jwaneng, a major diamond mine in Botswana, through construction of a 160km power line and new sub-stations. The project completion date was April 2000. A large number of other projects in Botswana have been undertaken by ABB.

A small Independent Power Producer (IPP), Bemco, supplies the town of Ghanzi in Western Botswana. BPC has a three year contract to buy power from Bemco. The latter company has approximately US$500 000 worth of power generation equipment.

Botswana has no hydro-electric power resources and all power is from thermal generation. Installed electricity capacity is 220,000 kW and domestic production totalled 901 million kW hours. An addditional 228 million kWh were imported mainly from South Africa.

Consumption per capita is estimated at 874 kWh. Almost all of Botswana’s power comes from the coal-powered Morupule Power Station. The country is undertaking a rural electrification programme and a 15 year planning programme is being developed to cater for the expected increase in supply of electricity across the Botswana grid. ABB Transmission and Distribution, a SA Company, has undertaken numerous projects in Botswana, building power lines.

Electricity tariffs in Botswana are the highest in the southern African region and its high tariffs have been blamed for the re-location of certain energy-intensive industries to neighbouring countries. Although Botswana is ideally suited for solar energy applications, enjoying over 3,200 hours of sunshine per year, its contribution to the national energy balance is insignificant.

Solar energy is currently used for home lighting and water heating, electricity production for telecommunications equipment, and in the rural areas where access to conventional electricity is difficult. Significant business opportunities lie in the manufacture or assembly of solar energy equipment.

Eskom Enterprises’ vision is to be the leading energy and related services business in emerging markets. Through our subsidiaries, we are engaged in a quest to develop and unleash Africa’s energy potential. Our track record so far is impressive: we assisted in the construction of more than 26 000 km of transmission line that spans virtually the entire Southern African region; some of the biggest and most advanced power generation plants in Africa have been built by us; through refurbishment, we have given Africa’s power industry a new lease of life; we supply energy management skills to a number of African governments.

Wanting to deepen your company’s understanding of the African Energy sector? The Vukani Petroleum and Energy Institute offers a range of courses that support the Petroleum and Energy industries in South Africa and Africa as a whole.

The Industrial Development Corporation of South Africa is a self-financing, national development finance institution focusing on contributing to economic growth, industrial development and economic empowerment through its financing activities.

Shaun Bakamoso

Greetings. I'm Shaun Bakamoso, and I'm thrilled to be your guide through the dynamic world of business news in South Africa here at mbendi.co.za. With a passion for staying informed and a keen interest in the ever-evolving landscape of business, I've dedicated myself to providing you with timely, insightful, and comprehensive coverage of the latest developments impacting the South African economy. bakamoso@gmail.com / Instagram