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South Africa - ESKOM Transmission Improvement Project – RAP Summary (Venus Line)
The Government of South Africa’s National Development Plan (NDP) points to the fact that South Africa needs to maintain and expand its electricity, water, transport and telecommunications infrastructure in order to support economic growth and social development goals. Eskom Holdings, a State-Owned-Company (SOC) Ltd (hereafter referred to as Eskom) is South Africa’s primary electricity supplier which is wholly owned by the South African government through the National Department of Public Enterprises. Since 2005, Eskom has been expanding its infrastructure through additional power stations and power lines built to meet rising electricity demands in South Africa. In 2012 Eskom obtained the necessary environmental authorisation for the construction of approximately 103 kilometres power line between Pietermaritzburg, Howick, and the Estcourt towns of the uMgungundlovu and uThukela District Municipalities. This proposed construction of the 400kv transmission power line and a decommissioning of the 275kv power line is from the existing Ariande substation in the southeast of Pietermaritzburg to the existing Venus substation in the north of Estcourt. After completion, the project will prevent the problems of voltage collapse and will further create a more flexible network since it will allow evacuation of power out of Venus substation under loss of one of the 400kV power lines. This will improve the overall reliability of the system, which will be of benefit to both Eskom and to all electricity users in the area.