The Southern African Power Pool (SAPP) was created with the primary aim to provide reliable and economical electricity to supply to the consumers of each of the SAPP members, consistent with reasonable utilisation of natural resources and the effect on the environment.
Co-operation in the electricity sector is not a new phenomenon in the Southern African region; it has taken place at policy, planning and operational levels and involved governments, power utilities and financial agencies over a period of several decades. To formalise this interaction, several of the utilities in the region came together under the auspices of SADC to formulate the SAPP.
The members of the SAPP have undertaken to create a common market for electricity in the SADC region and to let their customers benefit from the advantages associated with this market.
All utilities participating in SAPP have equal rights and obligations, and have agreed to act in solidarity without taking advantage of one another. Members have undertaken to share information and knowledge, be politically neutral, develop common planning and operating criteria and procedures and to accept wheeling on behalf of other members when this is technically feasible.
The last decades of this century have seen major political changes in Southern Africa which have strongly influenced the socio-economic aspects of the countries in the region and their relationship to one another. In 1980 the Lusaka Declaration saw the creation of the Southern African Development Co-ordination Conference (SADCC) which facilitated regional co-operation and co-ordination. This was later transformed into the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and has been the impetus for various initiatives to make Southern Africa a strong contender in global affairs, particularly in the sphere of economics. The Intergovernmental Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed on 28 August 1995 brought the SAPP into being.