Load shedding steals Christmas for Eskom execs, again

Utility’s staff will work overtime to implement emergency plan to stop power cuts.
Eskom seeks to restore stability to power generation after seven days of power cuts. Image: Moneyweb

For the second year in a row, Eskom management and key staff members will not take leave in the festive season as instructed by President Cyril Ramaphosa, as the power utility struggles to halt power outages. 

The announcement was made at a briefing which mirrored the events of a similar one exactly a year ago where Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan cancelled Christmas leave, after the country was plunged into darkness. 

“No one goes on leave,” said Ramaphosa. 

‘If we are to have the system restored to stability all leave from now on until January is cancelled, all executives must remain in place and all key managers, to make sure that we do not have load shedding,” he added. 

Ramaphosa was addressing the media following a meeting with the Eskom board and management on Wednesday morning, about the current wave of power cuts which reached crisis point on Monday, forcing Eskom to introduce Stage 6 load shedding.  This resulted in Ramaphosa cancelling an official trip to Egypt. 

Read: Eskom steps up power cuts after flooding hits major plant

Sabotage

While the Grinch of load shedding has stolen Christmas for Eskom employees, Ramaphosa assured the public that there would not be any load shedding between December 17 and January 13.

The work to stabilise the system will go on right up to March. 

This is much the same as last year where Gordhan promised the nation that there would be a reprieve from power cuts between December 15 2018 and January 15 2019

Another parallel to December 2018 is the spectre of ‘sabotage’ to the stability of the grid which has reared its head again. 

When Eskom initially announced that there would be load shedding on Thursday, December 5, it informed customers that the system was severely constrained due to unplanned outages. While the system remained volatile for the next seven days with scheduled load shedding moving between stage 3, 4 and 6, various reasons were given for this: from unplanned unit breakdowns and wet coal to flooding from excessive rain. 

However, in addition to those factors, Ramaphosa revealed that there had been an act of sabotage at the Tutuka Power Station on Thursday, which wiped out 2 000 MW of power from the grid for ten hours. 

Investigations are currently underway, with Ramaphosa saying that Eskom should work closely with the South African Police Service and the intelligence services, to figure out how an instrument was disconnected from one of the Eskom boilers, leading to the 2 000 MW loss. 

“I think it is important for all of us to note that there are certain people within the system who take it upon themselves to switch off certain instruments that lead us to lose so many megawatts,” he said. 

Increased capacity

Eskom’s management informed Ramaphosa that it would need increased capacity of 5 000 MW in order to stabilise the system, providing the utility with enough room to conduct maintenance at power stations that require it. 

Read: Two mammoth power plants are sinking Eskom and South Africa

Eskom Chief Operating Officer Jan Oberholzer said the 5 000 MW has not yet been modelled or calculated but is the estimated figure of what the utility believes it will require.

Proposals that were put on the table to unlock this additional supply ranged from sourcing floating generators (where ships would plug into the grid), or to consider self-generation (where households and industry supply their own power). These suggestions will be considered by cabinet on Friday, when Gordhan and the Minister of Energy Gwede Mantashe will make a presentation. 

Read: Eskom wants R27bn clawback from consumers

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Boy,do they ever deserve it

They also had all their leave cancelled last festive season, but it did not make anything better!??
Just wishy-washy political BS!??

ESKOM Management tells CR what they need? Is this the same management that can not run the entity? And CR swallowed it hook line and sinker?

They think they can solve a management and engineering problems with political talk (Lies).

Only one way to do it.

Employ 100 Germans and 100 Japanese and then get rid of the board, senior and middle management and replace them with the above. They will then quickly also get rid of the bloated workforce.

Fire Pravin and keep all politicians away from the new management.

I am so tired of these knee-jerk reactions. If you need therapy, pay to see a therapist!

….well you can now get back to picking your nose

yes the excuses and the “we are sorry” terms used etc etc are just getting too much now – call a spade a spade and spell it out loud and clear: eskom + political and union interference is one big failure and the chances to rectify it under these circumstances is less than zero; high time the organized private sector step in with long term environment friendly alternatives for the once excellent power supplier(till the zuma-anc circus took over).

It will be very, but very strange if any employee of the rotten to the core eskom gets a 2019-bonus / 13th cheque for what ever reason given – they are doomed – financially, technically and otherwise at the cost of the limited tax-/ account paying citizen

No load shedding after 17th Dec is no achievement whatsoever, most industries are shut down. Why is the mediocre (or even lower levels of performance) always celebrated as it is an achievement ?

If Eskom’s problems are due to sabotage as claimed by the President, why has nobody been arrested and charged for that crime? If he was telling the truth then charges would be in place. Do the maths yourself.

the ANC’s solution/sweep under rug is to hold a ‘commission of inquiry’ air all of SA’s dirty laundry for the all to see, issue a nice thick finding document that the president has to ‘get his head around’ and tick the block as exercise concluded. load shedding is the result of the ANC failing to govern and focusing on looting – now their money machine is under threat they throw their arms in the air and blame everyone/everything other than themselves, the light at the end of the tunnel – has been load shedded…

….because the ANC are the biggest saboteurs themselves!

and this fact should make us feel better?????

If there is any truth in the suspicions of SABOTAGE at Eskom…

South Africa, we have to be very worried… What else can be sabotaged by disgrantled employees?

What a sad day yesterday was…

Is our water system safe, was literiosis sabotage?… was Life Esidimeni sabotage?… Are our aereoplanes safe on the airspace? Was the bridge collapse in Sandton sabotage?… Was Steinhoff sabotage? is Tongaat sabotage?

Both the public and the private sector is under attack… We need to be vigilent. In the late 70’s and 80’s we were worried about the 3rd force. in the 2020’s we should worry about the “4th industrial destructive force”… To kill a nation, start by distroying its industrious economy. With no viable economy no Nation can survive… the greater part of Africa is the best case study… South Africa will be the completion of the theses.

of course there are saboteurs at Eskom……..the ANC.

looking at how much the average ExcuSeKOMer takes home despite the fact they’ve essentially shut SA down for the month of December, I feel NO sympathy at all. they are overpaid, over-staffed and under-worked. Cyril’s token efforts to punish them are just that – actions lacking substance – he himself had to scurry back from egypt so that he could tell SA that a tiny portion of the lost production capacity was due to ‘sabotage’ – the ANC has been sabotaging the grid since Mbeki assumed power. there are so many things that the ANC just hasn’t done, which makes we worry that eskom is just the proverbial tip of the iceberg. how about locking some looters up, stop lying about the true extent of – and I hate this phrase – state capture. start working smarter, stop talking and get stuck into the problems – or are you just there for show ? does the ANC have ANY leaders in its ranks ?

If you want solid and long lasting infrastructure investment in SA from big corporations, then you allow them to install solar and wind decentralised power with a buy back tariff. Eskom will get their 5000MW in a year and the money spent in the economy and job creation would be awesome. Add a provision that equipment bought from SA companies give you tax credits and you will get the green economy pumping. This will likely reduce costs for residents as well who will then join the revolution.

I believe that the Pretoria suburb of Waterkloof has never had any loadshedding ever? Apparently, its due to the vast number of Ambassador residences? And Cabinet minister’s residences also have never experienced loadshedding?

Cancelling leave for everybody is a forlorn hope that somebody will be able to do something, unspecified and unanalysed, “to fix things.”

As Oberholzer said, Eskom hasn’t modelled or analysed how much power is actually down.

Which in turn tells us that they don’t actually know what is the problem or what to do to fix it. Let alone who is required to do what. So cancel leave for everyone.

Which is actually okay with me, also taking no leave.

They need to take this matter further – no pay and no bonuses until Eskom function as envisaged and stipulated. Eskom (and City Power in Jhburg) are incapable of fulfilling simple maintenance and repairs – the next big hurdle is going to be whether any entity has the necessary spare parts to replace the damaged parts which happens frequently – too frequently

“For the second year in a row, Eskom management and key staff members will not take leave in the festive season as instructed by President Cyril Ramaphosa”

My heart bleeds for these useless and overpaid “executives” who don’t seem capable of learning from the past.

Great! Now we have to pay these parasites double, too. For doing the usual sweet FA.

Well there we go!
The President promises no load shedding over Christmas.
Why do we bother anyone else heading Eskom?
By FIAT load shedding has been abolished.

Why would you promise that? It is not in his power to make sure the promise is delivered upon and if he is wrong his legitimacy will be severely and adversely affected. The risk return profile of this promise is dreadful.

End of comments.

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