Posts Tagged ‘eskom’

Another R 17 billion bailout for Eskom

April 22, 2019

Finance Minister, Tito Mboweni, has tabled a report which details a R 17 billion bailout for Eskom due to an emergency cash problem – this points to a power utility that is no longer viable and sustainable.

Eskom is using money to literally pay salaries and keep the lights on by burning through billions of Rands worth of diesel until after the elections.

The DA has proposed a bill that would allow for the introduction of independent power producers that would cheapen the cost of electricity, bring about much needed competition, but these solutions were never adopted.

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Five solutions to keep the Lights on

March 23, 2019

The recent rolling blackouts, set to intensify, show that Eskom’s operations have reached the level of a national crisis. Millions of jobs and livelihoods are now at stake.

This was inevitable given the extent of mismanagement, corruption and bad policy that Eskom has been subjected to over the past two decades.

A total collapse now seems possible, but it is not inevitable. There are five things South Africa can do right away, to avert the monumental catastrophe of a full-scale blackout.

Firstly, the energy production market must be fully opened to competition. This would ideally, but need not necessarily, include privatising the generation entities of Eskom.

Competition will rapidly increase activity, innovation and efficiency in energy production, enabling more energy and a more diverse range of energy to enter the grid.

Decentralised production, diversification and increased supply will bring down electricity costs and build resilience into the system.

The current high prices and unreliable supply of energy is due to the socialist approach of giving a single, state-owned entity monopoly control of our energy market. If we did the same with our bread market, we’d very soon all be queuing for over-priced bread.

Secondly, Eskom should immediately freeze the build process of the last two outstanding units at Kusile. Those funds should be redirected to purchasing electricity from independent power producers.

The Medupi and Kusile builds have major design and build flaws thanks to extraordinary levels of corruption and are thus not worth proceeding with, since they cannot deliver anywhere near the promised capacity.

Thirdly, engineering and maintenance at Eskom should be classified as an “essential service” that cannot enter into strike action.

Otherwise, this crisis puts union bosses in a position to hold our entire economy hostage to their demands for ongoing above-inflation wage increases. We must preclude the possibility of extortion.

Fourthly, major smart meters must be installed for municipalities, to force municipalities to collect revenues and pay Eskom timeously.

Eskom’s financial and operational crises are irrevocably interlinked, because the worse Eskom’s finances, the less maintenance is done on its infrastructure. The more unplanned outages Eskom experiences as a result, the less electricity it is able to sell and thus the deeper it slides into debt.

Fifthly, well-functioning metros and municipalities must be allowed to source energy directly from independent suppliers. SA cannot continue with Eskom being a monopoly buyer and seller of electricity.

This is a classic case of having all our eggs in one basket. For example, if you have solar panels on your roof, you should be able to sell the excess energy you produce.

Most municipalities in the Western Cape already have legislation in place to buy and sell alternative sustainable energy such as solar energy.

The DA is currently pursuing court action against the ANC government to win the right for local governments to buy and sell energy directly from independent producers. As soon as that legal battle is won, our local governments can hit the ground running.

DA-led governments have taken proactive measures to reduce the risk imposed by this avoidable crisis. Most importantly, we have prioritised investing in, maintaining and upgrading the electricity distribution infrastructure to avoid outages due to local breakdown.

The City of Cape Town also maintains and utilises the Steenbras pumped-storage scheme to supplement electricity supply during periods of peak demand.

This means the City is sometimes able to avoid load-shedding or remain on a lesser stage than Eskom requires. And the City is investing in a natural gas distribution network to increase energy supply and resilience.

Only mass action can compel the national government to take the five steps needed to avert a total collapse of our electricity system.

That is why I am calling for a National Day of Action on Friday 29 March. I urge every citizen who loves South Africa to join this mass call for radical reform to our system.

Of course, our most powerful action would be to cut off the ANC’s power on 8 May. At the end of the day, this crisis requires strong leadership that will stand up to union bosses and ensure change occurs.

The advantage of the DA is that whilst we recognize the role of unions, they are not voting delegates at DA congresses.

Warm regards,

Mmusi Maimane
DA Leader

Its time to dismantle Eskom

July 25, 2018

Eskom’s latest financials once again reiterates the need for a complete turnaround strategy for South Africa’s energy sector.

The DA plans to introduce a Private Members Bill aimed at dismantling Eskom and creating a separate public entity which will govern and manage the country’s electricity grid and transmission lines.

The remaining part of Eskom, responsible for generation, will be privatised and compete on an equal footing with other entities, including renewable companies, for generation capacity.

This will ensure a more efficient, reliable and competitive energy sector which will not only prioritise service delivery to South African citizens but will also lead to much-needed job creation and foreign investment.

The reality is that Eskom is facing collapse and it will continue to stumble from one crisis to the next until such reforms are implemented. It’s clear that the new dawn has simply remained a slogan at the power utility as there has been very little change.

The DA will continue to fight for an efficient and transparent Eskom.

South Africans deserve a power utility that delivers reliable energy to the economy to empower it to grow and create jobs for the 9.5 million unemployed South Africans.”

Sign the petition – Eskom management must pay back the money

March 31, 2015

Since load-shedding began in 2008, Eskom’s top brass has received a staggering R63 million in performance bonuses. In 2012 and 2013 alone, these bonuses amounted to R31 million.

eskom crises

Bonuses for doing what exactly?

These bonuses are in addition to their massive salary packages (Eskom’s top 3 executives earned R24.4 million last year).

The Eskom monopoly has dumped South Africa in a crisis through incompetence and mismanagement. Their “performance bonuses” are an insult to every South African.

Every cent of these bonuses must be returned, and all future bonuses must be placed on hold until we emerge from this crisis.

To sign the petition, click here

Give power to the people

February 4, 2015

power stats