27 August 2020 - NW1747
Singh, Mr N to ask the Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy
(1) Whether his department currently provides free basic electricity under programmes other than the Free Basic Electricity programme; if not, why not; if so, (a) to whom and (b) what are the relevant details; (2) whether the installation and maintenance of electricity prepaid meters would be (a) subsidised or (b) free under certain parameters; if not, why not; if so, (i) under what parameters and (ii) what are the relevant details; (3) whether his department prescribes electricity tariffs and rates to municipalities in order to ensure that the most vulnerable and indigent communities receive free basic electricity; if not, why not; if so, (a) in what manner and (b) what are the relevant details?
1. The Department have developed a Free Basic Electricity (FBE) Policy which aims to protect the indigents by provision of lifeline tariff to indigent households as part of government initiative of poverty alleviation. The amount of free basic electricity provided is deemed sufficient to provide basic lighting, basic media access, cooking and basic water heating. The following measures are also available to protect the poor:
- The Department isfacilitating access to electricity through government subsidised Integrated National Electrification Program (INEP) that is improving the quality of life of all citizens through electricity infrastructure and provision of FBE to indigents;
- Free connections provided to Eskom’s low consumption residential customers;
- Lower price increases applied to low consumption domestic customers; and
- Inclining block tariffs (IBT) prescribed in the Electricity Pricing Policy and being implemented by municipalities.
2. Installation and maintenance of electricity prepaid meters is provided by the utility or distribution licence holder.