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Why we can't pay Eskom: Top ten defaulting councils share financial horror stories

Joined
Apr 8, 2006
Messages
57,784
#61
It’s quite complex. There are Eskom switching stations which are basically Eskom metering points.

The municipalities have a choice of tarifs they can be on (the most common will be Megaflex) which also varies according to the rating of the supply in kV (the higher the cheaper). Each substation can be on a different tariff as it is billed per substation.

There are fixed monthly charges too.

Then Municipalities have a NMD (Notified Maximum Demand) by virtue of which each substation is given a maximum consumption allowed by Eskom (let’s say 10MVA). If the substation at any point in time exceeds this consumption, penalties apply, the longer the exceed the more penalties (and they are harsh).

Eskom meters and invoices the municipality at the end of the month.

The issue is that municipalities cannot really pass on these costs to the customer so if you have old infrastructure and frequently exceed your NMD, you pay a fortune in penalties, never make profits and can never upgrade your infrastructure.

A dumb system indeed.
I think this is where the issue lies tbh.

A set fee at max capacity required (not allowing any above that) and charge a monthly set amount. That way Eskom supplies what is needed and know what income to expect and plan accordingly. Municipalities collect, if they don't and don't switch of none payers the grid will reach capacity and that section will have loadshedding since they can only receive a set limit of power.

To me this will make things much easier to manage by both parties and those municipalities not paying having loadshedding. Simple as that.
 

f2wohf

Honorary Master
Joined
Apr 15, 2014
Messages
14,700
#62
This will be possible with the next generation of grid controlled substations.

Right now, 90% of the substations I see countrywide are manually controlled and you can’t isolate the consumption by small areas.

So you’d have to send a team to manually cut off everything (when do you know when to reconnect since it’s cut off and doesn’t consume?) before sending another team to reconnect.

NMD excesses can also happen to very good reasons (a big construction site in an area for a short time for example, ora festival).

I don’t see Eskom (or even a modern first world utility) having the ability to micromanage at this extent, until smart grids are implemented (15/20 years).
 

R.V

Banned
Joined
Apr 23, 2018
Messages
347
#63
Reason 1: Too many previously disadvantaged people connected to the grid at no costs, being supplied with unlimited free water, housing, etc. This was never sustainable in the long run. 10% of the population cannot finance 90% of all expenses. This even more so in a country where that 10% is getting smaller by the day - both black and white fleeing for greener pastures abroad.
 

Budza

Executive Member
Joined
Oct 14, 2008
Messages
7,294
#64
It’s quite complex. There are Eskom switching stations which are basically Eskom metering points.

The municipalities have a choice of tarifs they can be on (the most common will be Megaflex) which also varies according to the rating of the supply in kV (the higher the cheaper). Each substation can be on a different tariff as it is billed per substation.

There are fixed monthly charges too.

Then Municipalities have a NMD (Notified Maximum Demand) by virtue of which each substation is given a maximum consumption allowed by Eskom (let’s say 10MVA). If the substation at any point in time exceeds this consumption, penalties apply, the longer the exceed the more penalties (and they are harsh).

Eskom meters and invoices the municipality at the end of the month.

The issue is that municipalities cannot really pass on these costs to the customer so if you have old infrastructure and frequently exceed your NMD, you pay a fortune in penalties, never make profits and can never upgrade your infrastructure.

A dumb system indeed.
So then why the **** isn't there a peak / off peak rate?

:confused:
 

ArtyLoop

Expert Member
Joined
Dec 18, 2017
Messages
2,097
#65
It’s quite complex. There are Eskom switching stations which are basically Eskom metering points.

The municipalities have a choice of tarifs they can be on (the most common will be Megaflex) which also varies according to the rating of the supply in kV (the higher the cheaper). Each substation can be on a different tariff as it is billed per substation.

There are fixed monthly charges too.

Then Municipalities have a NMD (Notified Maximum Demand) by virtue of which each substation is given a maximum consumption allowed by Eskom (let’s say 10MVA). If the substation at any point in time exceeds this consumption, penalties apply, the longer the exceed the more penalties (and they are harsh).

Eskom meters and invoices the municipality at the end of the month.

The issue is that municipalities cannot really pass on these costs to the customer so if you have old infrastructure and frequently exceed your NMD, you pay a fortune in penalties, never make profits and can never upgrade your infrastructure.

A dumb system indeed.
Thanks, I'd totally forgotten about that.
Hence why you have areas with artificial load-shedding - the bastards standing in the substation with the handle in their hands, cutting off loads to prevent the "penalty" because it was too much effort to plan for the growth in the area, and rather easier to just send the techs out with the van to apply some load shedding
 

f2wohf

Honorary Master
Joined
Apr 15, 2014
Messages
14,700
#66
So then why the **** isn't there a peak / off peak rate?

:confused:
The Municipality pays peak/off peak winter/summer tariffs as part of the Megaflex. The NMD is a penalty that comes on top of that.

Here’s an idea:

IMG_6526.JPG

For example during peak times in high demand season, they can pay up to R3.45/kWh, money that no municipality can charge to any consumer.

The pricing from Eskom makes no sense and then the prices of the Municipality cannot be back to back which makes it a huge schlepp to manage and determine, far above the capacities of even a medium sized town.
 
Last edited:

ForceFate

Honorary Master
Joined
May 18, 2009
Messages
10,812
#67
Reason 1: Too many previously disadvantaged people connected to the grid at no costs, being supplied with unlimited free water, housing, etc. This was never sustainable in the long run. 10% of the population cannot finance 90% of all expenses. This even more so in a country where that 10% is getting smaller by the day - both black and white fleeing for greener pastures abroad.
People in the rural areas pay for their electricity, haven't seen piped water in ages and most build their own houses. My village alone has seen less than a month of running water in the past 7 years or more! Don't blame this on previously disadvantaged (I pay in the region of R2/kWh for electricity while someone in the nearest golfing estate was found with illegal connections!). It's failure to plan for the rapid urbanisation that's to blame.

Btw, are you part of this 10%?
 
Last edited:

TysonRoux

Expert Member
Joined
Aug 7, 2012
Messages
2,749
#68
Thanks, I'd totally forgotten about that.
Hence why you have areas with artificial load-shedding - the bastards standing in the substation with the handle in their hands, cutting off loads to prevent the "penalty" because it was too much effort to plan for the growth in the area, and rather easier to just send the techs out with the van to apply some load shedding
They actually do it by switching off the electric water heaters using the smart relays in each homes power distribution board, but many municipalities don't have the skills to manage that system.
 

Budza

Executive Member
Joined
Oct 14, 2008
Messages
7,294
#69
The Municipality pays peak/off peak winter/summer tariffs as part of the Megaflex. The NMD is a penalty that comes on top of that.

Here’s an idea:

For example during peak times in high demand season, they can pay up to R3.45/kWh, money that no municipality can charge to any consumer.

The pricing from Eskom makes no sense and then the prices of the Municipality cannot be back to back which makes it a huge schlepp to manage and determine, far above the capacities of even a medium sized town.
While they don't have to charge the full rate, if they incentivised people to move their usage to off-peak hours, they'd at least bleed a little less.

I can imagine the root of the problem has and always will be Eskom.
 

ArtyLoop

Expert Member
Joined
Dec 18, 2017
Messages
2,097
#70
They actually do it by switching off the electric water heaters using the smart relays in each homes power distribution board, but many municipalities don't have the skills to manage that system.
That system is broken for the most part... and its also as old AF
I am talking about areas I used to live in, in Joburg, where they had these ripple control things in place, but cut the power anyway
 

ɹǝuuᴉM

Expert Member
Joined
Dec 6, 2015
Messages
1,938
#71
And you know what?

I grew up overseas in one of the top countries in the world and I love SA.

Service is good, things are cheap, my lifestyle is much better, I save much more, crime is very overrated when you live in a good area (I walk my dogs at 9pm in the street).
Oh comarade. Of course. Welcome back from exile.
 

ToxicBunny

Honorary Master
Joined
Apr 8, 2006
Messages
71,796
#72
I don't follow... honestly I don't. I don't have to leave to live here.
I live here regardless.. My only complaints at this time are:

* Telkom not paying attention to their LTE ballz-up that is ongoing
* Having a dose of sinusitis because the weather changed so abruptly and caught me off guard

And there's my brother, the absolute genius.

Hated SA... with a passion. Full on born racist

Emigrated out of SA, to NZ of all places

Lived there long enough to qualify for naturalization

Got his "kiwi citizenship" and burnt his SA passport and told the cANCer to shove it where the sun doesn't shine

Things start going not so well in NZ... and boom... his employment sector is busy closing up shop and outsourcing to India and China
because you know, that lot will produce 6000+ lines of ****ty code that barely works for USD0.85 a day

Sits on his arse without employment

Cries long tears about how he wishes he could move back to SA, but now he's facing the same as all other foreign nationals who want to come live here.. having to deal with DHA and their red tape.

The irony... oh the irony....

Where are all those "friends" of mine now that left SA long ago, to run away from "the cANCer gevaar"
Where are they now indeed?
Whingeing in their foreign country about how they miss life in SA despite the problems, because they have bigger ones now
What Red Tape, he is an SA citizen by birth and while he may have lost that citizenship he never loses the right to Permanent Residence in SA...
 

The_Librarian

Another MyBB
Super Moderator
Joined
Nov 20, 2015
Messages
18,257
#73
I don't follow... honestly I don't. I don't have to leave to live here.
I live here regardless.. My only complaints at this time are:

* Telkom not paying attention to their LTE ballz-up that is ongoing
* Having a dose of sinusitis because the weather changed so abruptly and caught me off guard

And there's my brother, the absolute genius.

Hated SA... with a passion. Full on born racist

Emigrated out of SA, to NZ of all places

Lived there long enough to qualify for naturalization

Got his "kiwi citizenship" and burnt his SA passport and told the cANCer to shove it where the sun doesn't shine

Things start going not so well in NZ... and boom... his employment sector is busy closing up shop and outsourcing to India and China
because you know, that lot will produce 6000+ lines of ****ty code that barely works for USD0.85 a day

Sits on his arse without employment

Cries long tears about how he wishes he could move back to SA, but now he's facing the same as all other foreign nationals who want to come live here.. having to deal with DHA and their red tape.

The irony... oh the irony....

Where are all those "friends" of mine now that left SA long ago, to run away from "the cANCer gevaar"
Where are they now indeed?
Whingeing in their foreign country about how they miss life in SA despite the problems, because they have bigger ones now
And that is one of the reasons I don't want to migrate overseas. Just not worth it.

My place, my country, my home is here.
 

f2wohf

Honorary Master
Joined
Apr 15, 2014
Messages
14,700
#74
While they don't have to charge the full rate, if they incentivised people to move their usage to off-peak hours, they'd at least bleed a little less.

I can imagine the root of the problem has and always will be Eskom.
They do, a lot of the municipalities defaulting already have (can’t remember the exact name when I need it) the thing that cuts off geysers during peak hours.
 

Emjay

Expert Member
Joined
Jun 18, 2005
Messages
3,714
#75
That’s technically the only one where I’d lose my life yes...

And comparing crime by crime would take days (if the stats are even available on both sides).

Point is, we all have stories, perception and for me Sandton is far from the far west. SA is dangerous but not really everywhere, Camps Bay, Zimbali, Stellenbosch and Sandton are hardly a nightmare to live in.

I definitely wouldn’t live 1 day in a township.
Really? Crime is so bad in and around Fourways that special groups have been set up to stop the near daily attacks. You live in a nice bubble. I have been victim of crime numerous times, and you call it overrated. Consider yourself lucky. Sounds like you are some highly paid bureaucrat. Let me guess, you have your money offshore, right? Are you paid in dollars?
 

f2wohf

Honorary Master
Joined
Apr 15, 2014
Messages
14,700
#76
Oh comarade. Of course. Welcome back from exile.
Service is much better than in France (restaurants, customers services...).

Flats, petrol, food, restaurants are cheaper than in France.

I earn more after tax, medical aid & co than in France.

And as shown, murder rate where I live is not a concern, neither are utilities and infrastructure.

In the end, I do have a better lifestyle as plenty of expats do (and this is the reason why a lot of expats don’t leave and why a lot of foreigners go to retire in Cape Town).

If you can’t face reality and everything needs to be negative all the time, it’s not my issue. The grass is always greener on the other side, until you actually go on the other side.
 

nightjar

Expert Member
Joined
Aug 2, 2008
Messages
3,968
#77
1. Cut the power...
2. Inform the people that power will be restored once the illegal power thieves disconnect...
3. Wait for a little mob-justice to do its thing...
4. Restore power....
:whistling:
This is where the answer lies.
Hard hitting advertising would point out that illegal connections overload the system (and kill kids who accidentally touch wires lying between shacks.

The authorities are too afraid to tackle the problem but it should be reletively easy to persuade communities to act against electricity thieves.

In cases where illegal connections are made directly into substations it might be possible to send a power surge directly into the appliances at the ends. If the thieves know that their (probably stolen) fridges etc risk being blown they might hesitate.
 

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supersunbird

Honorary Master
Joined
Oct 1, 2005
Messages
43,959
#79
Service is much better than in France (restaurants, customers services...).

Flats, petrol, food, restaurants are cheaper than in France.

I earn more after tax, medical aid & co than in France.

And as shown, murder rate where I live is not a concern, neither are utilities and infrastructure.

In the end, I do have a better lifestyle as plenty of expats do (and this is the reason why a lot of expats don’t leave and why a lot of foreigners go to retire in Cape Town).

If you can’t face reality and everything needs to be negative all the time, it’s not my issue. The grass is always greener on the other side, until you actually go on the other side.
Which city do you live in?
 
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