Inside Eskom's War Room

Inside Eskom's War Room

2015-01-28 14:45

Cape Town – While South Africans fume at their current predicament with a shortage of electricity, elite members of the Eskom War Room meet daily to alleviate the impact of load shedding and to fast track new capacity generation through a five-point plan, according to one of the War Room’s elite.

Lionel October, director-general at dti (Department of Trade and Industry), said electricity constraint was an issue for economic growth in South Africa.

READ: Latest on load shedding

“It’s for that reason that we have been working very actively with our sister departments, especially the department of energy and the department of public works,” he told Fin24.

“We are an integral part of what we call the war room, which was established by cabinet in December last year,” he said. “We are working with the five critical departments in the war room, where we are also working actively with … business.”

“The five-point plan will hopefully reduce the impact significantly,” he said.

READ: Cabinet sets up 'war room' for Eskom

 “We are also working with industry to bring on board and fast track the co-generation and independent power producers’ programme,” he said.

“Our manufacturing sector is critical to the economy, so a proper, regular supply of electricity is essential,” he said. “We’ve been meeting with business almost every week with regard to see how we can rearrange and reduce the impact of load shedding.”

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“We’ve had a number of engagements over the past month with the business organisations and companies,” he said. “We’re expediting trying to reduce the impact of load shedding.”

He said industries that are not happy with their supply of electricity and want to engage with government should contact the dti, their business association, or Busa (Business Unity South Africa), who he says are playing an active role. “Busa have actually established a team [for this purpose],” he said.

READ: Eskom has funds for diesel up to March

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  • Brian Heunis - 2015-01-28 14:55

    Yup! With a bit of planning and foresight this running around like headless chickens could have been avoided.

      Made Inthe South - 2015-01-28 15:11

      The reality is that as long as Zuma783 and the ZANC is there,you ,the taxpayer will be Speared.ZANC made money out of the building of Medupi and Kusile,because their investment arm Chancellor House owned Hitachi Power Africa that had the R38 Billion contract for the boilers.That projects are now late because of strikes and faulty welding to the boilers,which had to be rectified by overseas welders. Now they will use this crisis,ZANC created,to justify the building of Russian nuclear reactors.So Chancellor House and the cadres can get tenders again.ZANC keep on winning.And if you followed the news,the Guptas are getting an uranium mine off the ground,in anticipation of the nuclear build

      Mike Heyns - 2015-01-28 15:16

      Asking your Customers to come up with a plan .......... Here is an immediate plan that will immediately work: EVERYBODY using electricity to pay the same price! If you are caught "stealing" you commit a criminal offence and will be arrested on the spot. Even if you are just a user! NOW EKSDOM, what is so difficult about this?? Too scared??? Those who does not agree can go to ........ ummmm wherever and ask them for a better deal!!

      John James Smyth - 2015-01-28 16:48

      For at decade and more, Eskom and government have been fully aware of the massive theft of electricity through illegal connections and fraud involving pre-paid meter cards. Yet little action is taken there even when a simple drive around a township (which township? - any township) would reveal instantly rough and ready cabling going to the majority of homes. Follow the cable, arrest the person, then remove the cable - crime fighting at it's very simplest even the greatest moron in the universe could do it! Or perhaps we can take an educated guess and say that the inaction on this major issue (40% of all Eskom product being stolen!Over R3 billion owned by Soweto residents alone!) is deliberate and a matter of policy in order to ensure a covert redistribution of wealth.

      Mike Heyns - 2015-01-28 20:34

      @John: Sorry my friend, but I have to correct you!? Our dear mr. spear cannot do it1 The speech wasn't prepared!! There is even an easier way if I may? 1. We know where there are informal settlements? 2. We know there should be no electricity? 3. We have a copy of Google Earth on your laptop? 4. We know where to click on "night view"? 5. We know where to check these areas? 6. Then we should know where to begin!

  • Ian Trenor - 2015-01-28 14:56

    Lol the WAR room. You can spin the crisis as much as you want- power problems are here to stay for a long time. The economic impact will be devastating. And to think these tossers were told in the 90s to get their act together.

  • Arcadia Jane - 2015-01-28 14:59

    Still a mess... welcome to the dark ages!

  • Mike Jones - 2015-01-28 15:02

    Just a committee to discuss how to close the stable door after the horse has bolted...

  • Theunis De Jongh - 2015-01-28 15:02

    How about a THINKING and PLANNING and no USELESS CADRES allowed room ?

  • Lloyd Gardner - 2015-01-28 15:03

    His hair is a direct representation of the state of affairs at Eskom

      Ian Trenor - 2015-01-28 15:03


      MarkH - 2015-01-28 15:42


  • Mark Thomas - 2015-01-28 15:03

    I heard the have a special red phone. At one click of a button it connects directly to the nearest KFC. And that my friends, is true power.

      deepchund.ramchurren - 2015-01-28 15:18

      Yes Mark, that is the only reason for having these meetings. The most difficult part of these meetings is the wait to hear the motorbike sound of the KFC delivery man. That will be considered as having put in a days work and to get the KPI numbers for the monthly report.

  • Richard Tichauer - 2015-01-28 15:06

    Air cons on no doubt

  • william.liebenberg.7 - 2015-01-28 15:06

    Start a maintenance room

  • deepchund.ramchurren - 2015-01-28 15:11

    Industries that are not happy with their electricity must contact dti or Busa to engage government. What will dti or Busa do to keep the industry happy, take them to the war room and show them the 5 point plan. What a bunch of idiots, having meetings just to "cash in" on the meals provided courtesy of the taxpayer.

  • fargone - 2015-01-28 15:12

    WAR Room, what a joke! I very much doubt anything said by ESKOM can be trusted. We have been lied to in order to cover up their lack of action, why would we suddenly start getting the truth! they get huge salaries so that they will lie!!!!

  • Etienne Spies - 2015-01-28 15:13

    folk 9 jail Kiki rxxe

  • Missionman - 2015-01-28 15:13

    Do they really think sitting around and talking c..p is going to fix our power stations and run down grid. What is needed is people with the correct skills and experience brought into Eskom irrespective of who or what they are at all levels. This is a national crisis and other stupid policies put aside and the problem fixed !!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Etienne Spies - 2015-01-28 15:14

    Ik non

  • George Slade - 2015-01-28 15:16

    The War room is likely run by Umkonto Etc veterans --Clueless scroungers who couldn,t fight their way out of a Paper bag !!! Just Lookk at the Photo of the director general !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      MarkH - 2015-01-28 15:44

      Looks like he's having a complete melt down, and that's just getting his KFC order right.

  • Richard - 2015-01-28 15:19

    The stooges meet.

  • Craig De Villiers - 2015-01-28 15:20

    Too little, far too late. Get rid of the idiots at the top who let it get to this stage, but without the usual, " here's a couple mil for your stupendous incapabilities "

      Ian Trenor - 2015-01-28 15:24

      Craig the problem is the idiots at the top get replaced by more idiots at the top. It's an idiot fest sad to say.

  • Maria Du Bois - 2015-01-28 15:24

    If u had civil war or a push for a break away from the republic, what is required to make it viable?

  • robert.barrie.948 - 2015-01-28 15:25

    Aware room to take the SA back to the trees! That is what Zuma wants because van Riebeeck brought the wheel and trouble to SA! The should get Dames into the war room and get the money back which he took like his master Zuma. Then lock both up and forget about them

  • Neels Minnaar - 2015-01-28 15:28

    War Room? Where all they do is come up with excuses for their incompetence.

  • Ian Trenor - 2015-01-28 15:30

    Anybody see that movie DESPERADO with Antonio Bandares?? This bloke in the pic looks like one of those Mexican gringos in the bar lol

      Lynda Tyrer - 2015-01-28 17:55


  • Richard King - 2015-01-28 15:31

    'Elite, war room, fast track' - these works are meaningless spin. Somebody is panicking.

  • john.coleman.777 - 2015-01-28 15:32

    War room. Hahaha. Couldn't alleviate a full bladder.

  • Tony Dallas - 2015-01-28 15:36

    5 step plan!!! Could be done in 3. 1 - fix current power stations! 2 - build new power stations to accommodate growth! 3 - maintain above power stations! War Room??? Haha. Who are they fighting.

      Deon Van Zyl - 2015-01-28 20:49

      Enemy NUMBER ONE: anyone who owns a TV and more than 1 light.

  • willem.proost - 2015-01-28 15:40

    Escom the Peter principle applied at all levels

  • Jane Warrington - 2015-01-28 15:41

    How stupid does this Lionel October think the SA public is? Spouting platitudes isn't going to cut it anymore. Heads must roll and competent people put in immediately. Where is Cyril? I thought he had been put in charge of sorting this out .

  • Braam Compion - 2015-01-28 15:50

    To late...a war room....hahahaha work involves getting your hands dirty and fixing the problem not just talking and talkong andd excuses and blaiming exyernal factors and the previous regime that ended 20 years ago. You had time 20 fff years and ypu are still moaning. ...i guess you will use that card always when you the ANC is hacked into a corner. Shiw some balls man and lead..stop jiding behind your 10k siut fancy cars and many wifes.

  • Cheslin White - 2015-01-28 16:00


  • Julio Sanfona - 2015-01-28 16:00

    A bunch of planks having a board meeting.

  • Hennie De Ruyter - 2015-01-28 16:14

    Perhaps you need a JAD room instead?

  • Rowan Torr - 2015-01-28 16:22

    If DTI were serious they would know that competition in any industry is an element of growth.

  • Kobus Basson - 2015-01-28 16:59

    Mr October, can you also establish a "WAR ROOM" for the handling of the DTI incentives especially the MCEP program which is in totally disarray.

  • John Howard - 2015-01-28 17:00

    Blind leading the blind.....

  • Albert Myburgh Burger - 2015-01-28 17:17

    How scaly does Lionel looks in that pic

      Grant Mandon Baartzes-Lohe - 2015-01-28 21:19


  • Lynn Hugo - 2015-01-28 18:02

    Maybe if it wasn't a war room there would be no load shedding!!!!. Must be jiving to all the explosions and flying stuff because, of no maintenance on the stripped power stations.

  • dianna.beatson - 2015-01-28 18:11

    Pull the other one.....!!!!!!!!!!

  • FanieBrink5 - 2015-01-28 18:51

    You mean in the clown room???

  • Bertus Pretorius - 2015-01-28 19:08

    I'm not one to judge a book on its cover... but yikes...

      FanieBrink5 - 2015-01-28 20:28

      If its a black book you can do it!

  • Deon Van Zyl - 2015-01-28 20:47

    War room? rofl

  • Zahir - 2015-01-28 21:14

    Disaster management is eskom skills

  • Wolfgang Gebhard - 2015-02-05 11:24

    So has the illustrious CIC made it back into the corridors of power red overalls and all

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