Challenges in household energisation and the poor

22 Jul 2016

While the electrification of households in South Africa since 1994 has been impressive, many of the major energy services in poor households are still met by traditional fuels such as, on the Highveld, coal; in coastal regions, paraffin; and in rural areas by wood. Their use is associated with a range of challenges, from chronic respiratory tract infections to asphyxiation by carbon monoxide to massive fires that destroy not only homes but also lives. State interventions such as the provision of Free Basic Electricity are costly and do not appear to be contributing towards any solutions. The challenges are assessed, and a range of mitigations proposed.