Eskom says SA on brink of further power outages

Eskom’s system is struggling to keep up with increasing electricity demand.
Economic growth in South Africa would spur electricity usage, increasing the risk of load shedding. Picture: Waldo Swiegers, Bloomberg

An acceleration in economic growth in South Africa could trigger power cuts, with state utility Eskom’s fragile generation system unable to respond to increased demand for electricity.

The energy availability of Eskom’s generation fleet is supposed to be as high as 80%, but is currently as low as 69%, and even a 0.1% rise in gross domestic product could result in outages, Nelisiwe Magubane, an Eskom board member, said at an event organised by Afriforesight in Johannesburg on Wednesday.

The state-owned utility, which supplies about 95% of South Africa’s power, has a mountain of debt and is reliant on government bailouts to remain solvent. It is also contending with operational issues — most of its power stations are nearing retirement age and haven’t been properly maintained, while the construction of two new plants are running years behind schedule and way over budget.

Read: Eskom has 18 months to get its house in order

The country has experienced intermittent power outages — known locally as load shedding — since late 2005, a measure Eskom said was needed to prevent the national grid from collapsing. Outages have eased over recent months largely due to the poor performance of the economy — gross domestic product slumped an annualised 3.2% in the first quarter, the biggest contraction in a decade.

“We haven’t seen load shedding because demand is going south,” said Mike Rossouw, an independent energy adviser. “If demand picks up tomorrow you will be seeing load shedding every day.”

© 2019 Bloomberg L.P.

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Can’t they appoint a small team of highly competent engineers systematically to go through the two new stations and then force the contractors to fix whatever stuff-ups they made? it’s getting a bit silly.

Those two new power stations are still a fountain of revenue for the corrupt. As is the whole organisation, determined to keep milking the paying user and no talk of reducing staff. Staff reduction would save R20 billion a year to start.

Its not that simple, i know this because i have worked there for one of the contractors.

The solution is simple, get Eskom off site and put a Tender to complete the works with the desired to result of producing 4000 to 4800 Mega Watts.

1 purchase order per Power Station.

This will force work stop to for approximately 6 months to 1 year, cost to be determined and fixed with duration being fixed at 3 years.

This is the only solution.

I doubt whether a whole busload of engineers would fix these 2 power stations. You need to go back to the original specification to find the real problems and fix from there onwards – but – with the competency levels of the people employed by Eskom they are unable to see the wood for the trees.

actually I blame the contractors too. That and poor project management, where you switch between contractors all the time and no-one knows whats going on.

Maybe start two new ones next to them, built by honest compete people….

@ Jakker – With respect, the revolutionary masters in the ANC (Eskom) will not understand your suggestion. It contains words and terms they cannot understand, like: “small team” or “highly competent” and “fix”

I think they already did that. Around Feb 2019, Eskom brought in engineers from the Italian Enel power utility.

Eskom appoint highly competent engineers? Oh how we laughed. Eskom is part of the ANC strategy to create employment. Eskom is about keeping voters in the money. Eskom has nothing to do with power generation.

Texas, given it’s a large state, has 70 000 megs of usable power at it’s disposal. That is how a private power company should be run. Eskom is and will always remain a joke post 1995.

can we pipe it here? lol

5 war rooms, 10 CEO’s and 3 ministers later and you’ve got this….a total shambles.

Fact is, morality is the missing magic ingredient.

Eskom is unfixable without integrity. Seeing that this is also the missing ingredient in the ANC well, get used to blackouts.

do’nt forget squirrel the komodo dragon also screwed up when he was tasked with sorting the problem- now he is gonna screw the WHOLE country the same way LOL

The other day on the radio a former Eskom employee described what
working at Eskom was like after 1994. She described how countless people
would sit around all day not knowing what to do, with little enthusiasm for doing any form of real work. To address the lack of skills, employees were regularly sent on training courses but often large numbers of people didn’t pitch up for the training and no disciplinary action was taken against them. There were even cases of employees playing golf during office hours and likewise nothing ever happened to them either. White qualified managers and engineers were replaced with the new cadres who were so out of their depth, that it was not even funny. Whenever a difficult decision needed to be taken, the logical response was to postpone it. There was (and probably still is) a total absence of proper project management and planning and an appreciation for the bigger picture. Getting paid at the end of the month was the sole and only objective with endless talk in the office about “my next big purchase”. After a few years, she couldn’t stand this soul destroying circus any longer and she resigned.

Sounds like a typical South African Oxymoron. Economy lifts it’s head, consumer demand picks up, factories require more electricity. GREAT NEWS! Eskom cannot cope, Load Shedding kicks in, economy affected, back where we started..SHOCKING! This Government needs to become more pro active and not reactive..They’re destroying what was once the darling of Africa to a heap of junk..The abyss WE’re sliding into will be so deep , there can be no return..the only solution is an IMF or BRICS bailout with resultant consequences

…..economic growth paradox
These anti-colonialists will never opt for an IMF bailout…..because then they must again do what the colonialists tell them what to do.

Kusile and Medupi are the most expensive heaps of scrap metal on earth and serves as a monument to remind the nation about the cost of their misplaced trust in socialist policies.

Giant kettles sitting in the veld.

Does anyone really care???? Bring it on man !! Maybe I will fly a Flag!!!!

Read an article somewhere a few months back, about load-shedding would likely again be implemented towards (or after?) the end of August.

Can’t recall the specific reasons mentioned, but amazing how accurate reality turned out to be 😉

Nothing will save Eskom (under the ANC, nor EFF, and not even sure if under DA).
Fact is, when a utility that has a (90%) MONOPOLY, is unable to profit from such favorable position, then there something BIG wrong!

The best way for SA to deal with this, is to allow for the increase elec tariffs what Eskom want….businesses will suffer, but a price-point will be reached sooner where PV solar/battery bank will be more cost effective. There will be an unprecedented uptake of PV-solar/wind….that by the time Eskom implodes (when Govt runs out of own funds, and the nations’ pension savings), most of SA that is left behind will operate on PV-solar (or wind). It will be expensive, but still cheaper than Eskom.

Eskom/AA/BEE will kill itself (economic unsustainable social experiment), but we all suffer along the way.

Power outages, massive unemployment, rampant crime and corruption, public healthcare in disarray, SOEs run into the ground, economy in tatters, Black-on-White racism at all-time highs, road carnage, sports teams becoming serial losers, Government rolling out disastrous policy after policy, a politically impotent President etc. etc. As Robert Mugabe would say ‘WHAT MORE DO YOU WANT”‘?

… as Bob said: Carnage, destruction, anarchy – my work here is done.

As almost 2 Billion a day that leaves the country (Aug 2019) and R 100 Billion has left since 2017, WHERE IS THAT ECONOMIC GROWTH YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT???? Fake News

it is an absolute economic growth “paradox”

These cadres and their ‘war rooms’! A euphemism is ‘we really have no idea at all how we broke this, or how we’re going to fix it but lets drink some more champagne!’

“An acceleration in economic growth in South Africa could trigger power cuts”- Where is this growth happening??? Or should the article start-
“After we started supplying Zimbabwe”

“An acceleration in economic growth”
This is hilarious.
The current government has no political will to ensure an acceleration in SA’s economic growth.
What they have ensured is an acceleration in emigration numbers…

And old Gwede wants to look at nuclear still, Eskom can’t even get standard coal plants done anywhere near on time, at 3 times the budget and they still don’t work.

I would be looking to fully privatise energy generation, clear that Eskom neither has the ability nor the means to manage large capital projects.

The big takeaway from the ANC is that failure is no deterrent for doing more of the same.

Failure is their stock in trade and they’re dammed if they’re going to stop that for anyone or anything.

The inability to learn from past mistakes is epic

End of comments.





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