Cosatu General Secretary Bheki Ntshalintshali has shared the real reasons behind the Eskom load-shedding which occurred in February.
Speaking to Rapport, Ntshalintshali said two of the main reasons for Eskom’s generation shortages last month were:
- 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.
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.
You will pay more for electricity, thanks to corruption
The growing list of problems at Eskom and the utility’s financial challenges has resulted in a big electricity price hike which will kick in next month.
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.