Domestic Use of Energy Conference 2004

                                                  Peter Fowles
                      Association of Municipal Electricity Undertakings (Southern Africa)


National Government first announced its intention to          Early in the process, national government officials in DME
provide free basic services as a means of poverty             recognized that the provision of free basic services is
alleviation during the third quarter of 2000. In order        primarily a social welfare function that is a responsibility of
to devise the mechanisms by which free electricity            national government while, according to the Constitution
would be provided, an Electricity Basic Services              and other relevant legislation, the provision of electricity is
Support Tariff (EBSST) Task Team was set up by the            a local government responsibility. It was also recognized
Department of Minerals and Energy. This paper                 that a significant number of the very poor people in South
describes the work carried out by this Task Team and          Africa still did not have access to electricity, despite the
some of the challenges in converting the intention of         successful national electrification programme, and would
the policy into a benefit for the intended customers.         not benefit from an allocation of free electricity to poor
                                                              Despite these restrictions, DME believed that the national
In the lead-up to the local government elections of           interest would be served by formulating a common
December 2000, senior national government politicians         approach for implementation of the EBSST throughout
promised that free basic services would be made               South Africa, whether the area was served by Eskom or a
available to all (poor) households to alleviate the effects   municipal distributor. It was evident in the early days of
of poverty.                                                   the Task Team that problems would be created by some
                                                              local authorities implementing their own form of free basic
The Department of Minerals and Energy (DME)                   electricity allocation in their own licenced areas of supply.
convened a Task Team comprising representatives from
the National Electricity Regulator (NER), Eskom, the          This paper does not attempt to cover the social, economic
South African Local Government Association (SALGA),           or other factors involved in the formulation of an EBSST
National Treasury (NT), Department of Provincial and          policy. These issues are more than adequately debated
Local Government (DPLG) and Department of Water               elsewhere [1, 2, 3, 4]. It will detail some of the work
Affairs and Forestry (DWAF). This Task Team held its          carried out by the Task Team and focus on some of the
first meeting on 9 February 2001 and was advised that its     practical problems in implementing a free basic electricity
brief was to provide recommendations to the Minister of       allocation in many areas.
Minerals and Energy on the introduction of an Electricity
Basic Services Support Tariff (EBSST) for introduction        2        THE EBSST TASK TEAM
in April 2002.
                                                              The Task Team began its work by critically examining a
Subsequently, the Minister of Minerals and Energy, Ms         ‘strawdog’ report produced by DME officials. Key aspects
Phumzile-Ngcuka, stated in her budget speech of May           of this report were the level of the allocation at 50 kWh per
2001 [1]:                                                     month and the presumption that this free allocation would
                                                              be funded by the local government equitable share.
In order to alleviate the negative impact of poverty on
our communities, and in line with other national              This equitable share is funding made available to
imperatives, the Department is developing an                  municipalities from the fiscus to help them fund services to
implementation strategy for the Electricity Basic Services    households and areas that, prior to South Africa attaining
Support Tariff. A multi-stakeholder Task Team has been        political freedom and the new local government
appointed to lead the process, which culminated in a          dispensation, did not have access to basic services. The
recent strategy development workshop. The task team is        level of the grant to each municipality is determined by
developing an implementation plan, first for the pilot        DPLG based on their information on the number of indigent
projects targeted to nodal areas and metros leading the       households in the municipal area. A portion of the grant is
free basic services implementation. The focus of the          intended to subsidise the provision of electricity to these
Pilot Programme will be on funding, technology and            poor households.
implementation options. It is envisaged to commence
these by June 2001. The phased roll-out of the                There were, however, two problems with the DME
programme will commence in the 2002/2003 financial            assumption that funding of the free basic electricity (FBE)
year following the results of the pilot programmes.           would be made available from the equitable share:
Domestic Use of Energy Conference 2004

•   The demand on municipalities to extend basic                 allocation should the agreed national level be set below
    services exceeds their ability to fund these services.       50 kWh per month.
    Equitable share grants are thus, generally, just
    absorbed into the municipal income pool used to          The 50 kWh free allocation could of course only apply to
    fund the extension and provision of all services; and    grid connected households. The DME had begun to
•   Equitable share funds are unconditional grants           implement a programme of non-grid electrification using
    allowing a municipality to use them for what it          solar home systems (DHD) funded via the National
    believes is its priorities.   This issue resulted in     Electrification Fund (NEF). The households are expected
    considerable discussion among Task Team members          to pay a monthly service fee of some R58 for
    and was only laid to rest when a representative from     approximately 6 kWh provided by the SHS in any month.
    DPLG confirmed the ‘unconditional’ status of the         It was recommended that these services receive a subsidy of
    grants and that municipalities could not be forced to    R40 per month as their free basic electricity allocation.
    use a portion of the grant to fund free basic
    electricity.                                             2.1.2    Recipients of the free electricity allocation
                                                             Statements attributed to the Minister of Minerals and
2.1      Key policy issues                                   Energy clearly acknowledged the difficulties of identifying
In order to gain a greater understanding of the main         ‘the poor’ and accepted that the free allocation of electricity
issues involved in formulating a national policy for the     would be made to all households that have an electricity
phased implementation of a suitable tariff (EBSST), the      connection, thereby ensuring that all poor households with
Task Team commissioned eleven (11) pilot projects            a legal electricity connection will receive the intended
established by Eskom throughout South Africa, together       benefit. This was called a ‘broad-based’ approach. It
with a research report on the various options for            was recognized that this approach would result in some
introducing such a tariff.                                   leakage of the benefits to some households for which
                                                             poverty alleviation is not necessary or desirable. The
The research was carried out by the University of Cape       significant cost of implementing this approach required the
Town (UCT) and their report ‘Options for a Basic             team to examine other options.
Electricity Support Tariff’, University of Cape Town
research project 400903, dated 28 February 2002, [1] was     The UCT report [1] proposes that consideration be given to
presented to the EBSST Task Team during March 2002.          a ‘self-targeted’ approach to the implementation of the
                                                             EBSST. This approach would possibly more accurately
While noting that some of the findings and                   target the poor and would be less costly to implement and
recommendations of the report were not accepted by the       fund. The report does acknowledge the choice between the
Task Team, the contents of the report were extremely         two alternatives required political consideration beyond the
useful in arriving at policy recommendations.                scope of the research.

The Task Team identified the main issues influencing the     Two possible methods of implementing the self-targeted
implementation of a free allocation of electricity to be:    approach emerged. They would require either that the
                                                             ‘household’ applies for a current-limited electricity supply
    •   The level of the allocation                          and then becomes eligible for the free allocation, or that the
    •   The recipients of the allocation                     responsible electricity service provider identifies
    •   The costs of such an allocation                      households consuming, on average, less than a pre-
    •   The source of funding for such an allocation.        determined amount of electricity per month and then
                                                             automatically applies the free allocation to these
2.1.1    Level of the free electricity allocation            households.
It was resolved that the level be set at 50 kWh per
qualifying household per month for a number of reasons: Current-limited Self-targeting
                                                             Households that are ‘poor’ generally have a low demand for
                                                             electricity and their needs could adequately be met by
•   56% of households in South Africa with grid
                                                             restricting the current drawn from their supply to about 8 to
    electricity connections on average consume less than
    50 kWh per month (Source: DME).                          10 amperes (A). These households would then consume
                                                             the free allocation of electricity at no cost and pay the
•   50 kWh per month is considered adequate electrical
                                                             normal electricity tariff for each unit of electricity
    energy to meet the needs for lighting, media access
                                                             consumed above the free allocation. Households would
    and limited cooking for a poor household.
                                                             apply to the electricity service authority to be put onto this
•   The level of 50 kWh has been used generally by
    senior national politicians and has been quoted in
    press releases. It has therefore achieved widespread
                                                             The advantages of this method are that it is expected that
    political and community acceptance (expectation).
                                                             mainly low consumption, poorer households will apply for
•   It would be difficult from a political perspective for   the current limited supply. This will thus more accurately
    those municipalities currently providing a free          target the poor and cost substantially less for the free
    allocation of 50 kWh per month to reduce this            electricity supplied.
Domestic Use of Energy Conference 2004

It is also expected to reduce the incidence of overloads     The intention of the Task Team was that the tariff to be
on rural electricity lines (feeders). The UCT Report         applied to these customers for each kWh consumed in
(page 62) estimates that the cost of reinforcing such        excess of the free allocation would be greater than the
feeders if a broad-based approach was implemented to be      normal (single rate) tariff. This is shown in Figure 1 and
about R770 million.                                          the break-even point was chosen as 150 kWh.
                                                             The philosophy behind this recommendation was that only
Disadvantages are that the electricity service provider      ‘poor’ households consuming less than 150 kWh would
will incur a higher administrative load and the cost of      receive the benefit of the FBE, while those whose
altering the current capacity of service connections.        consumption rose above this figure would pay more than
Particularly in the case of households served by credit      they would have on the normal tariff.
meters, current-limiting devices will need to be installed
on the service connection where these do not exist.          2.1.3    Cost of the free electricity allocation
Prepayment meters that do not have software-based            Costs for the programme were separated into the cost of the
current limiting will need to be changed and those with      ‘free’ energy and the technical and administration costs for
the facility will need to be re-programmed.                  implementation of the programme. Self-targeting without current limiting     Broad-based method of allocation
                                                             The UCT Report estimates (page 125) that the annual cost
This alternate method of self-targeting involves             of the EBSST at a level of 50 kWh per household per
households using on average, less than a pre-determined      month would have been R1.13 billion at 2001 tariff levels.
amount of electricity per month applying for the EBSST.      This would increase to R1.52 billion (in 2001 Rands) in
To reduce administrative cost, the electricity service       2010 due to the expected increase in the number of
provider could automatically select those households that    domestic customers.
comply with these requirements to move to the tariff
providing the free allocation.                      Self-targeted method of allocation
                                                             The UCT report does not provide an estimate of the cost of
This method is probably more suitable for                    the energy supplied ‘free’ if this method of allocation were
implementation by municipal electricity distributors         used. It does however state (section 6(6) page 147) that:
since it can easily be applied to credit or prepayment
meter services. There is also no need to visit the           “. . . the (annual) cost of an EBSST that provides 50 kWh
prepayment meter in order to reprogramme the current         per month ‘free’ to poor households in the bottom two
limiting facility and the administrative burden of           quintiles is estimated to be R475 million (in 2001).”
ensuring replacement meters are correctly programmed is
not applicable.                                     Technical/Administration Costs
                                                             It has been recognized that the provision of the free
In addition, the electricity demand of many poor             allocation of electricity could involve substantial costs in:
households in cities and towns exceeds the 8A (or 10A)       • Upgrading of billing and prepayment vending systems;
limit of the current-limited option due to the numbers of    • Replacement of prepayment meters not compatible
people living in extended households.            If these         with vending of the free allocation and the cost of
households were restricted to the current-limited method          current limiting electricity services (if the self-targeted
they may experience frequent supply trips.           This         method is adopted);
‘nuisance’ tripping of the electricity supply would not be   • Upgrading of rural (and possibly urban) electrical
a problem with the proposed alternate method.                     networks to cope with a possible increase in demand
                                                                  for electricity;
                                                             • Providing an administrative capacity to implement and
                                                                  monitor the free allocations to households.
                                                             No reliable estimate was provided for these potential costs
                                                             but it was suggested that for a broad-based approach, the
                                                             national cost would be of the order of R800 million. This
                                                             figure could be reduced substantially if the self-targeted
                                                             approach was adopted.

                                                             2.1.4     Funding of the free electricity allocation
                                                             The UCT Report (page 131) addresses five possible
                                                             funding sources but suggests that only two of these options
                                                             are realistic, namely:
                     50              150                     •   Paying for the EBSST from nationally collected
                      Consumption [kWh/month]
                                                                 revenue, or
                                                             •   Paying for the EBSST by means of a cross-subsidy.
               Figure 1. Proposed EBSST Tariff
Domestic Use of Energy Conference 2004 National funding                                     national policy it was deemed prudent to suggest that clear
The report examines a number of ways that the EBSST          guidance on principles and restrictions relating to the
can be paid for from the national budget or nationally       implementation of the allocation be established.
collected revenues. It suggests (page 133) the following
advantages of funding the EBSST through the national         It recommended that the following principles form part of
budget as:                                                   the national EBSST policy:

•    It recognizes that the EBSST is a national policy and   •   The free allocation of electricity units is to be made
     thus places the final responsibility for funding and        available to all households that meet the requirements
     implementation on the national government.                  of self-targeting. Where more than one dwelling is
• It enables the national government to implement a              bulk metered the service providers will need to take
     uniform approach to the EBSST countrywide.                  this into account in allocating the free basic service.
• It enables the national government to evaluate the         •   Normal connection fees levied by the distributor to be
     EBSST against other national priorities, particularly       applied to all new services.
     other national redistributive programmes.               •   Basic charges/fixed charges will only become effective
• It enables the national government to manage the               when monthly consumption exceeds the free
     costs of the programme (particularly decisions on           allocation.
     increases) in the light of macroeconomic conditions     •   No carry over from one month to the next of the free
     and national fiscal considerations.                         allocation or any portion of the free allocation is to be
• It enables the government to manage directly any               permitted for credit metered customers.               Free
     fiscal risk associated with the policy.                     allocations not claimed by prepaid customers in any
• It enables the government to match the allocation of           calendar month are lost.
     funds directly to the cost of implementation – there    •   For credit metered households the free allocation is
     would be minimal risk of under- or over-funding – a         only applied to the account if energy is consumed in
     real risk of the earmarked taxes.                           any billing period. If the consumption is less than the
The Cabinet would then decide which department should            free quota, only the amount of the consumption is
be responsible for the programme, and parliament would           issues free.
appropriate funds to that department. The department         •   Consumer discipline must be upheld.               No free
could manage these funds either as normal programme              allocation is to be made available following
funding, a dedicated fund or as a conditional grant for          disconnection from the electricity supply for reasons
either provincial or local government, each of which is          normally applicable in the distributor’s environment
discussed below.                                                 such as meter/system tampering or non-payment, until
                                                                 the consumer has met all the distributor’s/authority’s Cross-subsidisation                                      requirements to have the supply restored.
The funding of the free allocation of electricity by means   •   No cash/voucher/service to be considered, in lieu of the
of cross subsidies from customers consuming more than            free basic electricity allocation or non-grid operational
50 kWh per month creates significant problems, namely:           subsidy for those households that do not currently have
                                                                 an electricity service. The free basic electricity
•    The possible increasing input costs to commercial           allocation/subsidy will only be effected when an
     and industrial customers adversely affecting their          electricity supply is made available.
     global competitiveness.                                 •   Although the policy allocation for the poor is 50 kWh
• Differing proportions of ‘wealthy’ and ‘poor’                  per household per month it may be necessary for
     customers in many areas would mean that widely              electricity service providers to phase this allocation in,
     varying tariff increases would be necessary. This is        starting at a lower quantity, in the interests of
     not consistent with the objectives of Government’s          affordability and timing, both for the service authority/
     Energy White Paper and its intention to restructure         provider and customers.
     the electricity distribution industry (EDI), and
     ultimately rationalize tariffs, in the near future.     2.3      Eskom pilot sites
In addition, the NER stated that it would not approve any    At the request of DME and with government funding,
tariff increases designed to fund the cost of the FBE        Eskom commissioned a number of pilot studies at rural
allocation via cross subsidies. The stance resulted in the   sites considered to have a high proportion of poor
high profile challenge by the City of Cape Town who          households. The results of these studies are not debated in
claimed they have the right to set their own tariffs.        this paper, primarily due to the fact that they were not
Unfortunately, this case was settled out of court so the     available prior to the effective disbanding of the Task
industry is still unclear who has the authority to set       Team. The interested reader is referred to the
electricity tariffs.                                         Supplementary Report by the University of Cape Town [2].

2.2       Principles and restrictions                        3       IMPLEMENTATION OF FBE
The Task Team recognized that the free allocation of
electricity would be implemented by a number of              After nearly two years of work, the Task Team had almost
different electricity service providers. In proposing a      finalized a report to Cabinet making recommendations on
Domestic Use of Energy Conference 2004

the policy and national programme for implementation.          •   That should Eskom be the de facto electricity service
The report did however, lack information from the pilot            provider in the municipal area or portion of this area,
studies.                                                           Eskom would be required to enter into a service
                                                                   delivery agreement with each municipality. Eskom
Members of the Task Team were acutely aware of the                 would then be reimbursed by the municipality for the
political pressure, especially at local government level, to       free electricity provided on behalf of the municipality.
implement an FBE allocation. The fact that increasing
numbers of municipalities were not prepared to wait for        3.3       National Policy
the national policy and were implementing some form of         To the surprise of many, DME decided to publish the
FBE allocation added to the perceived difficulties of          ‘Electricity Basic Services Support Tariff (Free Basic
implementation.                                                Electricity)’ policy as Government Gazette No. 25088
                                                               dated 4 April 2003 in gazette notice 1693 of 2003
3.1     Cabinet resolution
Although no formal confirmation could be obtained from         This policy closely resembled the draft final report of the
DME officials, Cabinet apparently approved the                 Task Team but by the time it was published, some of its
following principles of a national EBSST policy:               requirements were contrary to the DPLG stance being
                                                               communicated to municipalities. The publication of this
•     The free allocation of electricity to qualifying         policy achieved nothing more than creating more confusion
      households to be set at 50 kWh per month;                in an already confused situation.
• Recipients of the free allocation to be identified by
      means of self-targeting;                                 3.4      Eskom position
• Funds will be provided in the fiscus to pay for the          The prospect of concluding service delivery agreements
      operating cost of the free allocation.                   with over 200 municipalities, with differing ideas of what
Confirmation of Government’s commitment to fund this           FBE system they wanted to implement, was daunting.
free allocation is contained in the National Treasury          After a lengthy delay, during which discussions were held
Medium Term Budget Policy Statement 2002 [2] where             with senior government representatives, Eskom produced a
it is stated:                                                  ‘Funding Agreement’ under which terms it was prepared to
‘. . . R1.4 billion is earmarked for free basic electricity    provide an FBE allocation to its customers in municipal
(over the next three years of the MTEF).’                      areas. The general principles of this agreement are:

National Treasury provided R300 million for the                •  The allocation will be 50 kWh per qualifying
Government financial year beginning on 1 April 2003.              household per month;
These funds were made available to municipalities in the       • The municipality will be invoiced at the rate of 34.5
form of a conditional FBE grant for the municipal                 cents per kWh (excluding VAT) provided as part of
financial year beginning on 1 July 2003. These funds              FBE. This is lower than its standard ‘Homelight’
can only be used for the FBE allocation and as they were          tariffs.
insufficient to provide FBE on a broad-based approach,         • It will only implement one of two methods of
as some municipalities had already done, implementation           identifying recipients.
would require some form of targeting.                           - Standard Method
                                                                       If a municipality requests Eskom to target
3.2       DPLG intervention                                            recipients it will provide the FBE to:
Although the DPLG had been a member of the Task                             * prepayment meter customers supplied via
Team, its representatives attended very few of the team’s                       a 20 Ampere or lower capacity service;
meetings. That was until December 2002 when its                             * credit meter customers whose average
representatives advised the Task Team that they could                           monthly consumption over the last 12
not accept the principles of the draft policy                                   months is less than 150 kWh.
recommendations. They believed that as electricity               - Municipal Indigent Policy Method
service delivery is a local government competence and                  If the municipality wishes to identify the
that DPLG determines the equitable share (and FBE                      recipients, Eskom will provide a list of all its
grant) allocations, it will decide on the policy.                      customers in the municipal area and request the
                                                                       municipality to identify the recipients. All the
DPLG then conducted provincial road-shows during                       recipients must comply with the 20A and ‘less
which they advised municipalities:                                     than 150 kWh per month’ restrictions in order to
                                                                       be supplied with FBE.
•   That each municipality could decide on the level of
    allocation it wished to provide up to 50 kWh per           Eskom will not charge the municipality its implementation
    month, depending on how much it could afford;              or administration costs providing one of these methods is
•   The municipality could decide who it wished to             used. It is not prepared to vary either of these methods to
    receive the FBE allocation and suggested they use          meet any differing requirements from a municipality.
    national guidelines on identifying indigent
Domestic Use of Energy Conference 2004

Credit meter customers will continue to be charged            registers are limited and often have not registered
Eskom’s basic and network charges applicable to               households in areas incorporated in the 2000 demarcation
`Homepower’ customers. These customers do, however,           process. The climate of expectation among municipal
have the option of converting to the `Homelight 1’ tariff     residents arising from media and political statements about
or a prepayment meter supply as part of Eskom’s normal        free basic services may, in many cases, not be satisfied.
                                                              5.       THE WAY FORWARD
A critical point to note is that Eskom have resolved to
use 20A as the current limit for recipients of FBE. It        It is likely that in most areas, the problems with FBE
originally felt strongly that this limit should be 8A and     implementation will be resolved or just fade away over time
reluctantly agreed to move to 10A at the request of the       as the high expectations of many households and politicians
municipal representatives on the Task Team. Eskom             are modified by the actual value of the benefit. To the
representatives state that this change from the Gazetted      really poor though, the free 50 kWh per month could
policy limit of 10A was a result of government pressure.      significantly improve their quality of life, even if it is only
                                                              the use of electric lighting and television or radio.
4        PROBLEM AREAS                                        In order to ensure the uniform application of a free
                                                              allocation throughout South Africa, a solution that is easy
A number of municipalities had implemented some form          to implement and relatively cheap to apply must be found.
of FBE prior to the DPLG intervention, the gazetting of a     If we are indeed correct that a large proportion of our
national policy and the finalisation of the Eskom             households use less than 100 kWh per month, and we
‘funding agreement’. The level of allocations varied          assume that these include a large proportion of our really
from 20 kWh in Cape Town to 100 kWh in Polokwane.             poor households, surely the proposal shown in Figure 1
The methodology varied from a broad-based approach to         deserves serious consideration. This tariff would be self-
the use of an indigent register.                              regulating and available to any domestic consumer. Those
                                                              who consistently use less than 150 kWh per month would
Significant problems are now beginning to emerge as           benefit while those who use more would pay more than the
these, and other, municipalities are beginning to request     ‘standard’ tariff.
that Eskom implement their preferred form of FBE
allocation in the respective municipal areas. Eskom are,      A single FBE tariff could be designed for implementation
quite rightly maintaining their stance in insisting on only   throughout South Africa which would possibly remove
using the methodologies specified in the funding              many of the tensions evident today. Eskom have agreed to
agreement. They have, however, commenced with a               consider such a proposal.
broad-based pilot project in the Cape Town area that they
say will come to an end in June 2004.                         6        CONCLUSIONS

Municipalities claim that once they have implemented a        Politicians made promises that free basic services would be
broad-based strategy, it is politically unacceptable to       provided in order to alleviate poverty in South Africa
withdraw the FBE benefit from some households and             before any planning had been undertaken on delivering on
only provide it to a selected few. Some are prepared to       the promises. A significant amount of money was spent in
pay Eskom its implementation and administration costs         establishing a Task Team, commissioning a research report
as well as their normal tariff for the FBE allocation         and conducting pilot studies in order to recommend a
provided. For technical and other reasons, Eskom is not       national policy for the implementation of a free basic
prepared to accede to these requests.                         electricity allocation. It is hoped that not all the work has
                                                              been in vain as, up until March 2004, many variations of
Some municipalities also contend that if they select a        FBE are being implemented.
household with a 60A supply to receive the FBE, Eskom
should not insist that the supply be reduced to 20A           It is hoped that it may still be possible to introduce a single
capacity. Again Eskom are refusing to accede to this          national EBSST that is self-regulating while still providing
request. It could also be argued that it is unlikely that a   a benefit to our poor households.
‘poor’ household requires a 60A supply.
                                                              7        REFERENCES
An additional problem in some areas relates to the
accuracy of the Eskom customer database. This is              [1]      University of Cape Town: Options for a Basic
particularly prevalent in the KwaZulu-Natal and                        Electricity Support Tariff: Analysis, issues and
Limpopo regions where Eskom are currently conducting                   recommendations.     Research Project 400903,
house-to-house visits to update their information.                     University of Cape Town, February 2002. p7.
Consumption records are also not always available.
                                                              [2]      University of Cape Town: Options for a Basic
Some municipalities find that they do not have sufficient              Electricity Support Tariff: Supplementary Report.
funds to implement the methodology that would ensure                   Research Project 400903, University of Cape
widespread allocation of FBE. They then revert to                      Town.
identifying indigents only to realize that their indigent
Domestic Use of Energy Conference 2004

[3]     Gaunt C T: “Researching a Basic Electricity
        Support Tariff in South Africa”, Domestic Use
        of Energy Conference, Cape Town, 2003.

[4]     Prasad G, Ranningen H: “The social impact of
        the basic electricity support tariff in South
        Africa”, Domestic Use of Energy Conference,
        Cape Town 2003.

[5]     Sparks D A: “Environmental and health impacts
        of the basic electricity support tariff”, Domestic
        Use of Energy Conference, Cape Town, 2003.

[6]     National Treasury: Medium Term Budget Policy
        Statement 2002. Pretoria, 29 October 2002, p80.

[7]     Government Gazette No 25088: Electricity
        Basic Services Support Tariff (Free Basic
        Electricity) Policy. 4 July 2003. Notice 1693 of

8       AUTHORS

Peter Fowles is the City Electrical Engineer for the
Msunduzi Municipality and is currently serving a two-
year term as President of the Association of Municipal
Electricity Undertakings (Southern Africa). He served as
one of the SALGA representatives on the EBSST Task
Domestic Use of Energy Conference 2004

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