The Afrikaans Sunday rag Rapport today quotes Cosatu General Secretary Bheki Ntshalintshali’s knowledge of the “real reasons” behind the Prince of Darkness in SA – Eskom – needing to load-shed the life out the country’s economy:
- Rocks instead of coal was supplied to one of Eskom’s power stations, which caused damage to burners.
- Everyone working at one of the control rooms in an Eskom’s power station “went to the bathroom at the same time”.
There are also suspicions of sabotage, which caused electricity supply shortages at Eskom, but this could not be proven yet he said. Ntshalintshali added that the very high price of coal is one of the main reasons for Eskom’s financial problems.
Poor-quality coal, a lack of quality control, and poor maintenance were also mentioned as problems at the power utility.
Meanwhile MyBroadband.co.za reports that the growing list of problems at Eskom and the utility’s financial challenges means that South Africans will suffer massive price hikes from April.
Energy regulator Nersa said last week that it had granted Eskom a 9.41% price increase for the 2019/2020 financial year.
This price increase was not well received by the South African public and businesses, especially because most of Eskom’s problems were caused by corruption and mismanagement.
A recent Sunday Times report revealed that the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) is looking into the theft of R170 billion from Eskom.
The report stated that of this figure, R139 billion is related to 11 contractors who helped build the Medupi, Kusile, and Ingula power plants.
An “orgy of looting” is suspected in contracts handed out by Eskom – and when combined with other losses due to state capture, the total amount of looting at Eskom could reach R500 billion.