What share of South African households had access to electricity in 1994?
South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma repeated a debunked answer to this question at the opening of an energy conference.
“Over the past 23 years of our democracy, we have been able to increase [electricity] access from a mere 34% to 85% of our population,” claimed Zuma.
The figure of 34% is most probably from 1990 or 1991, experts previously told Africa Check, but there is no credible data available for the dawn of South Africa’s democracy.
Around 50% had access in ’94
South Africa’s national statistics agency, Statistics South Africa, conducted a census in 1996 which estimated that 58.2% of households in South Africa had access to electricity. The latest data from the agency shows that access increased to 84.2% in 2016.
Access to electricity in South Africa during the early 1990s was low. It was also unequal, with just 38.5% of black households having had access in 1993/94, compared to basically all white households (99.8%).
However, by citing a lower and unsubstantiated figure, Zuma exaggerated the roll-out of services by the ANC-government since 1994. – Kate Wilkinson (07/12/2017)
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