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Kukhanya Energy Services (KES), formally KwaZulu Energy Services, was formed in 2001 following the awarding of a contract by the Department of Energy to provide alternative electrification solutions to rural areas not serviced by the national electricity grid.

Its shareholders are EDF International, Total Energie Development S.A. and Calulo Investments. The company electrifies households in rural areas in KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape Province using Solar Home Systems. The company is a full utility company with an operational maintenance contract for 20 years for these households – as at beginning of 2011, 14,000 units were installed with the target being 40,000. To date, KES has electrified more than 30 000 households in Kwazulu Natal and Eastern Cape.

A straightforward institutional framework helps make KES more efficient. The initial programme was organised under a service contract signed in 2002 with the South African Mines and Energy department (since renamed the department of Energy, or doE). A separate service contract was signed for Eastern cape in 2007.