The South African government managed to bring 247 485 South Africans out of the dark and provide electricity for their homes for the first time in this last year.

Department of Energy made this announcement as it presented its annual report for the 2014/15 financial year to the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Energy yesterday.

The milestone was achieved by the department’s Integrated National Electrification Programme (INEP), which runs the grid and solar electrification programs with the aim of connecting residents, particularly in disadvantaged areas, having spent 99.1% of its R4.5 billion budget allocation for the financial year.

This brings the number of South Africans which have been given access to electricity since 1994 up to 6.6 million, according to the department.

Officials also revealed that the department, along with three of the entities that report to it, received its first unqualified (completely transparent) audit since is inception in 2009 from the Auditor General (AG).

The three entities that received unqualified audits included the National Nuclear Regulator (NNR), National Electricity Regulator of South Africa (NERSA) and the South African National Energy Development Institute (SANEDI).

“Simply put, a clean audit means that the Auditor General’s office is satisfied with the DoE’s reports in terms of the financials for the year. To complement the clean audit status of the department, three of the state owned entities that report to the Minister of Energy received unqualified audits from the Auditor General,” said deputy energy einister, Thembisile Majola.

On the other hand, the department’s other entities, including minister Tina Joemat-Pietersen, have been mired in controversy throughout this year.

The South African Nuclear Energy Corporation (Necsa), failed to produce an annual report to the AG for the financial year, while PetroSA recorded a massive loss of R14.5 billion in financial losses and minister Pietersen was reportedly uncooperative with the AG, having failed to commit to addressing problems in the energy department.

[Source – South African Government News Agency, image – CC 2.0 by lifeofpix]