Open Source Use Case: Preparing Electricity Supply Area information for National Energy Regulator of South Africa (NERSA)


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Derrick Oliver Wells, Eskom, South Africa,


This paper describes the utilization of QGIS, an Open Source Geographical Information System, for the preparation of a submission to NERSA of Eskom’s Supply Areas.

This work has been done in response to a request from NERSA during 2013 for all licensed supply authorities to submit information relating their supply areas. NERSA has no geographic depiction of supply authorities licensed Areas of Supply – this necessitating the request. The request is not as easy as it may seem at first sight.

It essentially required the submission of a listing of towns/villages/suburbs (settlements) that the particular supply authority services. In addition wanted “polygons”! In Eskom’s case, they do not only supply, or rather reticulate, in settlements but also the extensive rural areas. The supply of such information, as requested, would not be a true reflection of Eskom’s Area of Supply. As a result different results were created as a means to try meet the request – the submission is something still under discussion and development. This paper will show the methods used in QGIS to formulate the first primary request. One of the constraints was to find and refine a suitable extensive settlements dataset. Some of the other constraints were the vastly differing datasets that existed in the regions and the limited time available to the author to compile a single standardized national submission. Elements that required doing were: Refining of the 65000+ settlement records to fit the regional information; Removing spatial duplicates from the settlement data; Adding additional information to settlements like province and municipality; Buffering and dissolving of 327000+ reticulation transformers; Creation of map books based on a number of themes.

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