Wildlife & Energy Programme

The Eskom-EWT Strategic Partnership

Throughout South Africa, Eskom is responsible for providing a reliable supply of electricity to meet the ever increasing needs of its end users. As a result, infrastructure such as power lines, power stations and substations are continually being built, refurbished and upgraded to support the increasing economic growth and development. Negative interactions between wildlife and electricity structures take on many forms including the electrocution of birds and animals; birds colliding with power lines; birds and/or animals causing supply interruptions; birds nesting on infrastructure and large animals (i.e. elephants, rhinos and buffalo) causing damage to the power line poles when using them as rubbing posts.

The challenge for Eskom is to find a balance between the supply of electricity to grow the economy and the effective protection of fauna from negative interactions with electrical infrastructure. In view of the problem, Eskom and the Endangered Wildlife Trust entered into a strategic partnership in 1996 with the main aim of systematically addressing the interactions through an integrated management system. The Partnership has in many ways pioneered an approach to Corporate NGO collaboration and remains highly respected both nationally and internationally.

The Partnership strives to achieve its goals through activities such as proactive environmental assessment prior to construction of new infrastructure; research into the relevant issues identified by The Partnership; Wildlife Interaction Training; analysis of Wildlife Interaction Incidents; reactive and proactive mitigation of existing infrastructure and advocacy and reporting.

Report wildlife fatalities linked to electrical infrastructure to 0860 111 535 or wep@ewt.org.za