A survey by Statistics SA has revealed that 85.3% of households were connected to the electricity grid in 2012, up from 77.1% in 2002.
Statistics SA said the number of households with legal electricity connections increased 49% from 8.3 million households in 2002, to 12.4 million last year.
In all, 85.3% of households were connected to the electricity grid last year, up from 77.1% in 2002.
Statistics SA, however, stressed that 11% or (1.45 million) households still lacked access to electricity in 2012, while another 3.6% or 578,005 accessed electricity informally or illegally.
Of these 420,000 households, 73% were connected to a source that the households paid for (an informal connection) and 12% reported that they were connected to a source for which the household was not paying, an illegal connection.
While 98.2% of electrified households used electricity for lighting, the proportion dropped to 84.5% for cooking.
“This drop is significant as electricity use for lighting is estimated to account for only about 5-10% of the energy consumed by poor households, while cooking, and space heating, is estimated to account for most of the remainder (90% or more) of the total energy demand,” Stats SA said.
The report found that, nationally, about 50% of households spent less than 5% of their income on electricity, and that about three-quarters (74.9%) spent less than 10%. In total, 8.8% spent more than 20% of their income on electricity.
The percentage of households that rated the quality of electricity supply services they received as ‘good’ declined from 67.4% in 2010 to 61.6% in 2012 while the percentage that rated it as ‘poor’ increased from 5.7% in 2010 to 9,4% over the same period.