For The People

Eskom, is There a Way Forward?

Eskom has been a hot topic of discussion for quite some time now, and not in a positive light.

Ted Boom, an energy expert serving on the Presidential Task team went as far as saying that the future of Eskom is already “dead in the morgue”. Mr Boom has called for a forensic investigation at Eskom to take place as the debt they have acquired is overwhelming. “The government is having to bail Eskom out almost on a monthly basis,” said Dr Grove Steyn.

Energy Minister, Jeff Radebe said “cabinet approval of the IRP will define a tangible plan for energy security that also enables the participation of Independent Power Producers (IPP) side by side with Eskom and municipalities. I am on record as having indicated that Eskom alone cannot meet our power capacity requirements because we estimate that the capacity extension under the IRP will cost in excess of 1trillion knowledge ghetto period up to 2030, including the new power plants plus the requisite transmission and distribution infrastructure”.

Major municipalities want to increase tariffs by 15,63% from the 9,41% increase that took previously took place. In total they’ve been given the go ahead to increase tariffs by 22% in the next three years. Eskom is not selling enough to cover its operating expenses.

The president of the Republic has said that “Eskom is too big to fail” and that one of governments core focuses is to ensure that a turnaround is in the horizon for Eskom. The government does not wish to privatize Eskom however they do want participation from the private sector. Over the next three years the government shall inject R69Bn into Eskom. The President plans to split the entity into 3 parts so that it is easier to manage. Concern is whether things can actually work to save Eskom from the crises they face, if Eskom fails, so does our economy. The tariff increases affect businesses and individuals.

Regarding the increased tariffs, Mr Herman Mashaba said that it is a representative of a disappointing ruling that shall increase hardships on citizens and businesses, “the cost of corruption and maladministration is set to be visited upon our most poor residents,” he said.

The CEO of Eskom, Phakamani Hadebe, has resigned and stated that it is due to health reasons. “It is no secret that this role comes with unimaginable demands which have unfortunately had a negative impact on my health,” Hadebe said.

The president of the Republic seems to be confident that something can be done to turn Eskom around and now all we can do is wait and see how things pan out.

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