Business Books

How Eskom degenerated from global energy powerhouse to dysfunctional monolith

The Money Show’s Bruce Whitfield interviewed James-Brent Styan, author of “Blackout – The Eskom Crisis”, for his weekly business book review feature.

Styan spoke about his book.

Description on Amazon:

A blow-by-blow account into the degeneration of Eskom from global energy power-house to dysfunctional monolith.

In 1998 the government was warned that the country was running out of electricity.

Yet the decision was taken not to invest in new power stations.

In 2007, as predicted, South Africa ran out of electricity.

Eight years later the crisis has deepened and, despite assurances by government, this has the potential to become the biggest post-apartheid crisis in South Africa.

By 2015 load shedding cost the economy an estimated R2 billion per day.

  • Is the situation getting better or worse?

  • Are the interventions working or is a blackout inevitable?

  • What can be done and what do future scenarios look like?

Blackout: The Eskom Crisis” gives compelling insight into each aspect of the energy crisis; from load shedding to leadership and policy to politics as well as analysis on nuclear and renewable energy.

"Blackout: The Eskom Crisis” unpacks the debates raging in households across South Africa today.

Scroll down for quotes from the audio below.

Up ‘till 2008 South Africans took electricity for granted.

James-Brent Styan

We simply ran out of generating capacity to power the economy.

James-Brent Styan

We knew this was coming, even back in 1998.

James-Brent Styan

Ideological tussles may have caused Government inaction.

James-Brent Styan

In the last eight years there were nine different ministers in the two departments responsible for electricity. The same revolving door exists at Eskom.

James-Brent Styan

There was severe load shedding in the 1970s and 1980s.

James-Brent Styan

We haven’t built anything in 20 years so we underestimated the challenge we’d face when building Medupi and Kusile.

James-Brent Styan

The only reason we haven’t had much load shedding of late is because the economy is not growing!

James-Brent Styan

We’re not building enough and what we’re building we’re not building fast enough.

James-Brent Styan

We need a mix of energy sources. We do need nuclear.

James-Brent Styan

We’re naïve about the state of the grid. I’m very worried.

James-Brent Styan

We’re not even replacing what we’re decommissioning!

James-Brent Styan

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This article first appeared on 702 : How Eskom degenerated from global energy powerhouse to dysfunctional monolith


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