The largest electricity provider in Africa, Eskom was founded in 1923 by the South African government. As an electricity provider to 95% of the South African market, the power utility has a high demand for the smooth functioning of its operations. The company is among the top ten worldwide in terms of generation capacity and sales.
For many low-income South African households, the ability to apply for free basic electricity came at a time when many individuals had been struggling financially.
The introduction of prepaid electricity metres has helped to alleviate some of the challenges associated with the billing errors that were prevalent in numerous municipalities. More households have been able to lower and monitor consumption as a result of this system.
Despite these efforts, harsh economic conditions have led to the inability of many households to afford electricity on a monthly basis.
An initiative launched in 2004, the Free Basic Electricity programme has assisted low-income households, with qualifying metres.
Free Basic Electricity – How does it work?
When you apply for Free Basic Electricity, you are given access to 25 – 60 kilowatt hours (kWh) of free electricity per month, as long as you have a qualifying metre.
Those with non-grid systems electricity will be provided with 50- watt peak electricity.
Available on the 1st of every month and valid for that month only, Free Basic Electricity is generally restricted to households that consume below 350 – 450 kWh of electricity per month. Additional units can be bought by prepaid metre users, at a FLASH shop or online. They will be charged at respective municipality tariffs.
To apply for Free Basic Electricity, one can contact their local municipality or utility provider.
To claim, dial *130*269# on a mobile phone.