'I don't suspect sabotage at Eskom'
After a hasty return from Egypt, President Cyril Ramaphosa met with ministers, the Eskom board and management at Megawatt Park in Sandton on Wednesday.
He announced that there will be no load shedding over the Christmas festive period, and cited sabotage as one of the factors that led to the recent rolling power cuts, escalating on Monday night to Stage 6 load shedding for the first time. He has called on the intelligence services to investigate these claims.
To talk about this in more detail Refilwe Moloto is joined by the Author of the book Blackout: The Eskom Crisis, James-Brent Styan.
How many people would have access to that kind of facility to do that?James-Brent Styan, Author - Blackout: The Eskom Crisis
Sabotage is a big claim to make and not something made lightly.James-Brent Styan, Author - Blackout: The Eskom Crisis
And when asked if anyone has been suspended or arrested, Styan says they were told it is still being investigated.
So if it was sabotage, then those people are most likely still there which is of even greater concern.James-Brent Styan, Author - Blackout: The Eskom Crisis
I don't suspect sabotage, but we'll have to see what happens.James-Brent Styan, Author - Blackout: The Eskom Crisis
So what did happen?
He acknowledges that this recent crisis did see Eskom being hit by a 'perfect storm' from multiple sides.
The very heavy rains in the north of the country on large open cast mines has had an enormous impact, he agrees.
It is impossible to move coal in those conditions.James-Brent Styan, Author - Blackout: The Eskom Crisis
He says Eskom had built up stockpiles in those areas but the rain was relentless.
Once you crack open the stockpile the coal on the inside is getting wet immediately...and a comment made yesterday was that if they hadn't built up those stockpiles we would have been in much, much worse condition than Stage 6.James-Brent Styan, Author - Blackout: The Eskom Crisis
The technical problem out of the new build Medupi Power Station 'hit them out of the blue', losing 4800 megawatts, he says.
He says claims that the country's energy supply will stabilise by 17 December is probably likely.
Will Ramaphosa's promise of no load shedding until 13 January 2020 be upheld?
I don't think the president came across as very convincing.James-Brent Styan, Author - Blackout: The Eskom Crisis
He says the COO made some reassuring comments, that Eskom maintenance over the past few months will see a number of units coming back online.
We have heard these promises before...and many stations are very old.James-Brent Styan, Author - Blackout: The Eskom Crisis
Eskom has a mass of maintenance still to do and has no money, he adds.
I think we are still in a world of pain, and it will take at least another two years to sort out.James-Brent Styan, Author - Blackout: The Eskom Crisis
He says the country needs additional generation capacity.
Listen to the interview below:
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