Volume 2, Number 1


Swot analysis of power utilities in the SADC
Tshombe, L.M.

The conditions of operation of an organisation and its external limitations may render some of the alternative solutions problematic or prohibitive in some cases. This may occur because each alternative solution or proposal presents different presuppositions or consequences. Obviously, it would be na├»ve for anyone to create a strategy for achieving a goal without taking into account the organisation’s strengths and weaknesses as well as the competing environment. Consequently, strategic management has not changed since its inception, with SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) analysis serving as the fundamental methodology for formulating a trategy for an organisation. The underlying premise is to match an organisation’s distinctive competencies and resources with the market to create a perfect match between it and the external environment with the view to developing a sustainable competitive advantage

This paper emanates from empirical research conducted on power utilities in the Southern Africa Power Pool (SAPP). The hunch or hypothesis for the paper was that electricity and power generation are the cornerstone of industrialization and sustainable development in Southern Africa; yet, political instability, poor water management and corruption pose endemic threats to such rosy opportunities. SWOT analyses were applied on primary data collected through personal interviews with senior executives in the Ministries of Energy and Electricity in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), in Zimbabwe, and of Eskom in South Africa. The reason for the approach adopted was to unravel the compelling power provision strengths and weaknesses in each situation, and to provide what opportunities could accrue to the Region should the threats and weaknesses be tackled. The evaluation provides data on the differences in performance and circumstances within each electricity establishment and the underlying furore of political instability as threat to the strengths come to the fore. Recommendations are offered for further situational analysis.

Keywords: policy maker, electricity trading, politic and economic stability