Load-shedding to continue ‘for years’

Best stock up on candles and rechargeable lights, think about a generator and/or inverter, indications are that load-shedding will be a factor in SA for a long time.

President Cyril Ramaphosa indicated as much when he cautioned in an interview last month: “The energy challenges in this country will not be resolved overnight. We have set out on a bold path of restructuring and rebuilding.”

This came after an embarrassing first-ever stint of stage 6 load-shedding.

Energy expert Ted Blom told EWN News this week that load-shedding would likely continue “for another five years”.

“That’s my estimate of how long it will take for Eskom to sort out their coal problems, as well as how long it will take them to sort out their maintenance backlog,” he said.

In an interview on Cape Talk recently, partner at Mining and Energy Advisors, Blom, said the power utility’s debt was holding South Africa to ransom.

Blom believes the government will need R1.7-trillion to Eskom’s problems.

He notes that while Eskom has acknowledged it owes at least R450-billion in long-term debt, this does not take into account a number of other costs.

14 coal stations

“Eskom has gone on record and said it will open 14 new coal stations, but it has not factored in the costs in their statements.

“We need R1.7-trillion to put Eskom on a healthy footing. This thing is holding the economy to ransom.”

Blom said Treasury has admitted it does not have R1.7 trillion.

“If Treasury has not got it we have to decide if we are going to limp with Eskom for the next 50 years, or are we going to fix this immediately and create the jobs that Eskom has shed.”

Well known media presenter and public speaker Tim Modise commented on Twitter, “The repercussions of its (Eskom’s) failure are dreadful & widely known, yet SA decision makers still tinker around. Why?”

Fraud, corruption and sabotage have also been blamed for some of the utility’s woes. Top former executives at Eskom have been charged with fraud and corruption for alleged kickbacks on the massive Kusile project.

Mooi River blackouts crisis: more than R100 million debt

Picture: Rohan Makhecha/Unsplash

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