Transmission’s mandate is to optimally plan, operate and maintain Eskom’s transmission assets throughout its economic life, as well as to provide an integrative function for the reliable development, operation and risk management of the interconnected power system. This includes balancing supply and demand in real time, trading energy internationally, buying energy from independent power producers (IPPs) and operating the transmission grid.

The transmission grid comprises 157 substations and approximately 29 900km of transmission lines.

Operating highlights

There was no employee or contractor fatality during the year to 31 March 2014
Safety performance improved with an LTIR of 0.20 against the target of 0.36
No environmental contraventions have occurred
Good system technical performance was achieved with zero major incidents, system minutes <1 performance at 3.05 compared to a target of 3.40, and a line fault performance of 1.73 compared to a target of 2.45 faults/100km
The first IPP was commissioned under the renewable energy programme on 15 November 2013
Eskom supported the government of South Africa to conclude an inter-governmental agreement between South Africa and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) on the proposed Grand Inga project

Operating challenges

Motor vehicle accidents remain a challenge and a major contributor to lost-time incidents within the division
The performance of Hidroelectrica de Cahora Bassa S.A. energy imports remains a risk due to challenges regarding the reliability of the high-voltage direct-current transmission lines
Energy exports continue to exceed the planned level due to delays in the commissioning of new generation assets in neighbouring countries and due to a drier than normal season affecting the availability of hydro generation in neighbouring countries
The MYPD 3 decision for IPP purchases was R2 545 million. The actual cost was R3 266 million which resulted in a cash flow shortfall of R721 million

Future focus areas

Risk management related to the balancing of supply and demand
Connection of independent power producers to the Eskom grid
Network strengthening to achieve grid code N–1 compliance, as well as the integration of new generation sources
Sustaining business management system compliance (ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 certification) and performance improvements
Zero harm to people and the environment


Transmission took part in a benchmarking exercise with 27 other international transmission companies in 2012/13. The study focused on maintenance and plant performance and identified international best practices for the transmission industry. The study has been used to identify opportunities for the development of continual improvement objectives and strategies. The results of the 2012/13 study indicate that Eskom Transmission substation and line asset performance is marginally below average, although a significant improvement has been achieved with line asset performance over the previous two years.


Key financial statistics for the year ended 31 March 2014

R million Actual
International revenue 5 886   5 985   4 909  
International energy purchases 3 311   2 086   1 858  
Maintenance and refurbishment 6 88   634   290  
Capital expenditure (excluding capitalised borrowing costs) 1 392   893   1 554  
Total property, plant and equipment1 31 629   26 522   21 787  

1. Balances for property, plant and equipment represent the net book value.

Technical performance for the year ended 31 March 2014

Indicator and unit Target
Total system minutes lost for events <1 minute, minutes 3.40   3.05   3.52   4.73  
Major incidents, number1 2   0   3   1  
Interruptions, number2 34   35   35   48  
Line faults, faults/100km 2.45   1.73   1.75  



1. Records number of incidents with a severity greater than one system minute.
2. Interruptions affecting the continuity of supply to the customer.

The good performance of the system minutes (<1) and major incidents has been underpinned by the sustained reduction of line faults and plant failures, as well as effective risk management. Performance vulnerabilities remain with ageing assets and unfirm networks.

System Operations

Supply-demand challenges

Refer to the “Leading and partnering to keep the lights on” section (page 103) in the integrated report for more information.

Criminal incidents

A sustained reduction in security incidents has meant that no major losses were incurred during the year to 31 March 2014. Nonetheless, theft remains a risk for Transmission as demonstrated earlier in the year, when the theft of copper at a substation resulted in a minor interruption to a rural supply point.

PFMA approval has been obtained for the Transmission national security refurbishment project. This project includes various initiatives to improve and upgrade the security systems at various critical and high-risk Transmission sites, in order to mitigate potential risks to the integrity of assets and continuity of supply.

Safety performance

Transmission’s safety performance for both employees and contractors has improved substantially and no fatalities were recorded for the year ended March 2014. The LTIR for the year to March 2014 was 0.20 (2012/13: 0.41) which is a significant improvement on historical results and against the target of 0.36.

Motor vehicle accidents remain a high risk and have historically accounted for approximately 50% of all lost-time incidents.

Environmental performance

Transmission environmental performance improved as no legal contraventions were reported during the year to March 2014
(2012/13: 2). Bird mortalities caused by power lines remains a focus area for improvement with support from the Endangered Wildlife Trust.

The division retained its ISO 14001 certification.

Independent power producers (IPPs)

Eskom remains committed to facilitating the entry of independent power producers (IPPs) and acknowledges the role that IPPs must play in the South African electricity market.

Total energy procured from IPPs for the year to March 2014 was 3 671GWh. The expenditure on IPP programmes for the year was
R3 266 million which is R721 million higher than the NERSA decision for 2013/14.

Refer to the “Pursuing private-sector participation” section (page 143) in the integrated report for more information.

Southern African Energy

Like South Africa, most Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries are experiencing challenges regarding supply and demand and are bringing new capacity on line. Eskom is actively supporting the region in developing new supply options as these will improve the regional supply-demand balance, provide South Africa access to environmentally “cleaner” energy resources and diversify Southern Africa’s energy mix. South Africa’s electricity demand, which is considerably higher than any other country in the region, provides for the economies of scale required to make large infrastructure projects viable.

Refer to the “Leading and partnering to keep the lights on” section (page 103) in the integrated report for more information.