Stats SA: Electricity generation and consumption on the downturn

Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) published the latest data on electricity generation and consumption in South Africa for the month of July, and by the looks of it, things are on the downturn.

Electricity generation and consumption: How to interpret the data

The stats authority publishes a monthly survey on the electricity undertakings and establishments in the electricity industry. Based on the contents of July’s observations, much of the data contained in the survey s based on information regarding the volume of electricity units:

  • generated and distributed n South Africa;
  • flowing into and out from the country, as measured by the metering systems at the South African borders; and
  • delivered to provinces.

According to Stats SA, all of this is important as it provides a closer look into the standing of South Africa’s growth domestic product (GDP) and its components “which are used in monitoring the state of the economy and formulation of economic policy.”

What the numbers say about the state of our power supply

Based on the data pulled by Stats SA, electricity generation — the actual production of energy — decreased by 0.6% year-on-year, in July.

Compared with June’s production outputs, generation suffered a 1.3% decrease, with month-to-month drops of 0.5% in June and 0.7% in May.

The distribution of electricity — the manner in which it was consumed — also decreased by 1.9% year-on-year in July. However, based on seasonally-adjusted performance, distribution increased by 0.5% between May and July, compared to the previous three months of 2019.

Looking at a wider range, our power suppliers generated approximately 148 274GWh of electricity between January and July 2019. Compared to the same period last year (149 598GWh), this shows a -0.9% decrease in output.

90.2% of this electricity was, according to the data, distributed in South Africa, while the rest was either consumed in power stations and auxiliary systems or channelled out of the country.

Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal turned out to be the largest consumers of electricity in South Africa. Based on the numbers listed in the table below, a story is told about the provinces which currently receive the largest amount of energy.

6c068194 stats sa electricity generation and consumption july 2019 - Stats SA: Electricity generation and consumption on the downturn
Source: Statistics South Africa

Stats SA warned that these figures are, at most, estimations and should not be taken as 100% accurate representations of the actual state of electricity generation and consumption in South Africa.

“Some information for the current month may have been estimated due to late submission by respondents. These estimates will be revised in the next statistical release(s) as soon as actual information is available,” the stats authority noted.

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