EXCLUSIVE: 6 reasons why Eskom is load shedding

EXCLUSIVE: 6 reasons why Eskom is load shedding

2014-11-24 07:00

Cape Town - As the country once again experiences rolling scheduled blackouts for the third time this year, energy analyst Chris Yelland explained to Fin24 what he thinks the real reasons are.

Eskom has blamed the country's electricity woes on a collapsed coal storage silo, ‎a short supply of diesel, water and the weather.

"The reasons that Eskom has given for the prevailing blackouts that we have been experiencing are consequential reasons based on an underlying cause,‎ namely that the completion of Medupi and Kusile is running 10 years late."

LATEST FROM ESKOM: Load shedding fears for later this week

Yelland said the first five-year delay was caused by policy indecisions and the second five years by execution delays.

"The government has only itself to blame for policy indecision and Eskom is largely responsible for the execution delays."

He warned that load shedding problems will continue. "They will get worse until Medupi and Kusile come on line and even then we are still going to be playing catch-up," said Yelland.

"If Eskom had adequate generation reserve margins then it would not matter if we had wet weather or hot weather or cold weather or a coal silo collapse.

"To blame the weather is nonsense. To blame the shortage of diesel and water is nonsense."

Yelland cited the following six reasons for the delays at Medupi and Kusile that have caused the prevailing electricity crisis:

1)    The first reason is a lack of clear policy decision. Yelland said this delayed the decision to proceed with Medupi and Kusile by 5 years.‎

2)    The absence of a funding plan. Yelland said that the construction of Medupi and Kusile had proceeded without knowing where the money would come from to pay for the projects. "A few years into the projects, they had to be delayed until government had put a funding plan in place."

3)    Geological problems during the civil work phase. Yelland said that inadequate geological surveys were done. "This resulted in major delays in the construction of the foundations of Medupi and Kusile."

4)    Boiler-welding issues. The contract with Hitachi saw major welding quality problems within the boilers, which required significant rework.

5)    Inadequate level of skills and inadequate availability of skills. Yelland said this was partly due to the fact that two mega projects were built at the same time.

6)    Labour problems resulted in significant strikes and labour unrest during the construction period which brought work at Medupi and Kusile‎ to a standstill. "Initially Eskom did not implement a site-wide labour agreement," said Yelland. "Conditions of employment of site labour were left to the many contractors, and this meant, for example, that workers doing similar work were being paid differently, leading to discontent."

Economist Chris Hart told Fin24 that the latest round of load shedding seems to have been better implemented compared to previous blackouts.

However, he also expressed concern about the power plant delays. "The main thing that we are missing out on is the main reasons why Medupi is delayed. At the end of the day we need extra energy capacity."

Hart said load shedding is costly from an investments point of view and the economy itself, although he noted that South Africa is not the only country to suffer from power shortages.

Several attempts by Fin24 to get comment from Eskom proved futile.

As it happened: Get ready for weekend load shedding

  • Akhenaten C.T. - 2014-11-24 07:09

    Eskom gave excuses, not reasons. Excuses are crutches which lame people use to walk with.

      Jurgen Hartmann - 2014-11-24 07:19

      I wish these anc types would just stop lying in such an amateurish way, very school-yardy. They did it as well with the recent anc-created water disaster.

      Bone Thug - 2014-11-24 07:44

      If only load shedding can include shedding Jackson Zuma and his ex bush warfare cronies.Alas, that is not going to happen and we'll have to shed tears instead.

      Janine Roberts Owen - 2014-11-24 08:29

      cant understand why they have blackouts on weekends. shurly the demand is far less than during the week.?

      Alec Cooper - 2014-11-24 08:34

      There are actually seven reasons,. #7. Incompetent and incapable management with a lack of planning and general business skills.

      Mike Immelman - 2014-11-24 08:58

      Reason #8 is the widespread electrification program, with no increase in production to match it.

      Peter Guenther - 2014-11-24 09:11

      In the 80th I was with Siemens commissioning Matimba power station. In spied of sanctions, everything went smooth and on time. However: Siemens automation(German)MAN turbines(German )Boilers ( German) And last not least no corruption issues.

      Revelgen - 2014-11-24 09:18

      Three letters that sum up the real reasons behind load-shedding, lack of maintenance of water facilities and general poor planning and governance: A...N...C.

      Ted Withers - 2014-11-24 09:28

      I am in Gaborone - Botswana and Eskom supplies us with electricity. We have a newly commissioned Morupule Thermal Power Station that frequently breaks down, at times with zero output. During our zero output Eskom supplies us with most of our electricity. This certainly contributes to Eskom load shedding.

      Brian Enslin - 2014-11-24 09:35

      Rumors are that Eskom have asked Hitachi and Alstom here at Kusile top provide a new price on only building three units ... They have no money for the last three and want to delay the construction of those units.

      Jacob Zumaasak - 2014-11-24 09:36

      6 reasons? One reason alone is enough. Do it the African way

      Adrien McGuire - 2014-11-24 09:53

      This issue goes a lot further back than this article suggests. The government were warned in the mid 90's that this would happen and they did nothing about it until it was too late. Sometimes ( but not often ) I feel for the ESKOM bunch because they have to work with aging obsolete plant, not of their own making. I suppose they are doing the best they can with the cards they were dealt. What really bugs me are the illegal connections. I have to be careful about what power I use , trying to help the situation and at the same time paying an inflated price for electricity. At the same time , those with illegal connections just use whatever they feel like with no consequence. This gets up my nose on a daily basis.

      Karen - 2014-11-24 10:28

      Glad they see what's wrong!

      Judge NJury - 2014-11-24 10:54

      Haha... This report will be rejected by the ANC and Eskom executives later today citing a "hidden political agenda" by opposition parties.

      Judge NJury - 2014-11-24 11:06

      My posts containing damning stats on the current power situation are being deleted as soon as I post them... I AM NOT COMMITTING HATE SPEECH! I AM NOT PROMOTING VIOLENCE! Does the truth scare N24 that much? Or are they afraid that some foreign investor might realize what is REALLY going on?

      Danny - 2014-11-24 12:10

      EsKON have known for more than two decades that that we would reach a point of under capacity. The problem is all the experienced/qualified non BEE staff were 'let go' years ago already - so now we pay the price!!!

      Made-inthe South - 2014-11-24 13:10

      Every time the power goes out from now on,i realy realy realy want all South Africans to think of the Guptas in their luxurious home in Saxonwold that will get R43 Million from your ratepayers money from EKSDOM next year FOR BREAKFAST MEETINGS.Because this can certainly not go on like this.For a start immediately stop paying double taxations like e-trolls and SABC licence fees as well.We can not pay for a liar like Ellen "BEE CON degree" Tshabalala

  • James Herbst - 2014-11-24 07:10

    The main problem is BEE

      WG Morgan - 2014-11-24 08:03

      BEE is racist and not pro-poor.

      Deeteem - 2014-11-24 09:00

      Pro poor is just as racist !!

  • JBones - 2014-11-24 07:15

    Don't really agree with this view. There are not 6 reasons, rather one; total incompetency.

      denise.coates.98 - 2014-11-24 07:43

      Yip. Inadequate this, inadequate that. Main reason: inadequate ANC.

      blackmarlene - 2014-11-24 08:10

      Plan ahead? Surely you jest ...

      Made-inthe South - 2014-11-24 13:12

      Every time the power goes out from now on,i realy realy realy want all South Africans to think of the Guptas in their luxurious home in Saxonwold that will get R43 Million from your ratepayers money from EKSDOM next year FOR BREAKFAST MEETINGS.Because this can certainly not go on like this.For a start immediately stop paying double taxations like e-trolls and SABC licence fees as well.We can not pay for a liar like Ellen "BEE CON degree" Tshabalala

  • piet.vanzyl - 2014-11-24 07:16

    We need to she the ANC ASAP....interesting to see how many of SA's problems are caused by them and their policies (Eskom, SABC, Nkandla! Guptagate, SAA, water crisis, Parliament chaos, arms deal etc)

      Werner Roets - 2014-11-27 16:31

      Don't you get it? Most people in SA support theft, fraud and lack of services. That's why they vote for it. That's their culture

  • willem.proost - 2014-11-24 07:23

    Skills are available but owners have wrong skin color

      blackmarlene - 2014-11-24 08:13

      Willem I don't think that is quite right. There are many very well qualified black people out there. But constraints caused by corruption have wrought havoc.

  • Charl Wessels - 2014-11-24 07:25

    Communists running the country. What else can happen, except for everything to fall apart?

      Alain Craven - 2014-11-24 07:33

      I disagree - the type of political is immaterial. Its the manner in which projects are executed that matters. If we only focus on the political system, and were we communist, we would have space shuttles, nuclear reactors and an abundance of doctors...

      WG Morgan - 2014-11-24 08:07

      @Alain Craven - The USSR had space shuttles, nuclear reactors but not freedom, all prosperity went to Moscow and Leningrad, none to the villages. The political system does matter. I worked with Ukrainian crews for 13 years, they (not one of them) do not want to go back to the soviet system of oppression.

      Revelgen - 2014-11-24 09:20

      Alain, please get this into your head: COMMUNISM IS A FAILED SYSTEM, AS PROVEN BY HISTORY. Indefensible. End of story.

      Pete Van Dam - 2014-11-24 11:08

      @Alain Craven. The SACP and COSATU undermined and sabotaged the 1998 Energy White Paper (Policy) which caused the first phase of the delays in the article above. They should be charged with treason.

  • Mike Brannan - 2014-11-24 07:28

    Incompetence, Incompetence, Incompetence by both the ANC and ESKOM appointed Cadre says it all!

  • Alain Craven - 2014-11-24 07:31

    This article is 6 reasons why new plants are late - not 6 reasons why they are load shedding.

      WG Morgan - 2014-11-24 08:09

      You don't get it do you? There would be no load shedding if the plants were running.

      Hein Whelan - 2014-11-24 10:39

      Caravan head, if Medupi and Kusile were online and not woefully behind schedule we would have had enough "stock" to avoid load shedding

  • Ze Don - 2014-11-24 07:34

    "The reason why"... really? Where did this reporter learn to speak English? Anyway, just disconnect Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia and Zimbabwe no more power crisis, simple isn't it?

      Amos Quito - 2014-11-24 08:10

      And Botswana

      blackmarlene - 2014-11-24 08:14

      Yes Mpho, at less than what we pay.

      Margaret Patricia Meek - 2014-11-24 12:02

      You forgot the illegal connections!!!

  • Gavin Bruce - 2014-11-24 07:36

    are we sure that it is punishement for speaking out against no 1

  • Todays Realist - 2014-11-24 07:37


  • Johnson Marx - 2014-11-24 07:42

    So when we use less electricity and load shed their turnover decreases...their costs increase and the small minority of paying customers pay for it and the majority freeloads...they definitely negligent in making the country poorer.

  • Werner Keyser905 - 2014-11-24 07:44

    Funding should not be a problem. Eskom is owed Billions in unpaid bills. My power supply is cut when my payment is 10 days late, so how is it possible that residents can have outstanding bills of R20,30 or R40 000.00. Supply those whose accounts are paid up to date, and to hell with the rest.

      Nit Wit - 2014-11-24 07:55

      We all know that is not going to happen as most of the non-payers are ANC supporters which the ruling party do not want to piss off. The ANC promised free electricity as an election campaign.

  • Ivan van Heerden - 2014-11-24 07:46

    Reason 1 days it all. The ANC needed an extra 5 years to figure out how much they were going to steal.

  • Gabrielle Brookstein - 2014-11-24 07:48

    This article was probably written last year... because its the same bull excuses and no one ever learns....and year on year the demand grows!

  • rowan.torr.9 - 2014-11-24 07:50

    Those who are making the money don't really care. They have never told us the real truth anyway. Their days are coming. The masses are slowly getting gat vol.

  • scottfamily - 2014-11-24 07:53

    there will always be problems with projects of this size, but the continued problems repeating themselves, the lack of skills, eskom increasing tariffs, when it could get the money from government, big bonus payouts for performance when there were no performances worth paying bonus's for... and a question, is eskom still supplying botswana, mozambique , swaziland electricity, because if so one must wonder how megawatts are leaving the country when it is required here. Surely that is a priority. supply here first then help others if required. It appears that when you take these things all into account it gives the impression that bad management and leadership are too blame.. but i suppose if the head of SAA and SABC do not need to be qualified why should the head of eskom be....i suppose, if our president is not qualified it was bound to filter down was'nt it?

  • Bob Parnell - 2014-11-24 08:03


  • Anton Claassen - 2014-11-24 08:06

    Get out while and if you can...the worst is yet to come

  • Pravin van Tonder - 2014-11-24 08:09

    There is only one reason and that reason is: management - A company being run by people who does not have the propensity, skill or aptitude to manage things.

  • Bob Parnell - 2014-11-24 08:12


  • jungleboy - 2014-11-24 08:12

    Alex Irwin and his commie zombies that made these bad decisions need to be arrested for high treason including Mbeki

  • Victor Mendes - 2014-11-24 08:14

    Time for rolling blackouts on taxes!!!!!

      Christian Evans - 2014-11-24 09:36

      And load shedding their salaries!

  • Nico Ratsela - 2014-11-24 08:18

    Eskom says we must switch off all apliances that use electricity including your phone charger,tv,fridge,lights and geysers infact don't switch on anything that consume power.

  • andries.greeff.1 - 2014-11-24 08:20

    #7 Affirmative Action & BBBEE...

  • Claire Rees645 - 2014-11-24 08:21

    Why are Eskom building more coal powered stations, try solar power its can work here in SA and Wind turbines as well. And its better for the environment.

      Brendies Gibby - 2014-11-24 09:35

      Solar power is nice to have, if it was less expensive to get I would let the old lady who is on pension put iy on her home. Not even our monthly incomes would be able to pay for that monthly instulment. The cost of solar is ovet R30000 for the small geyeser and pannels excl labour

  • Mike 881 - 2014-11-24 08:31

    EksDom applied load shedding over the weekend - When demand is at its lowest due to most factories and businesses being closed. Come Monday when demand goes up Eksdom says no load shedding. Just shows what a bunch of idiots (clowns) they are!!!!

  • Sisie Indola - 2014-11-24 08:31

    Reasons why Eskom is load-shedding: Maintenance MAINTENANCE MAINTENANCE (there is none)

  • Jennifer Alice Vander Merwe - 2014-11-24 08:31

    The policies are the responsibilities of the directors and their Social and Ethics Committee should have been on top of pressuring the directors to come to a decision on the policies regarding the completion of projects. Another duty of the Social and Ethics Committee is to see that fair labvour practices are carried out be it as it may be by contractors. What are the directors' being paid enormous salaries for if they cannot make the necessary decisions, implement policies and run Eskom efficiently? Indecision hurts many companies and shareholders will remove directors who do not perform in a private or public company. This is just another State Owned Company which is not been run properly in the best interests of its stakeholders, us, the general public. I looked at the schedules, phoned Eskom yesterday to ask if there would be load shedding and there was no indication that there would be and phoned the call centre and was assured no load...ha ha..at 6pm electricity off until 8.30pm.

  • Sandy Lange - 2014-11-24 08:39

    One reason and one reason only : Total incompetence

  • Ian Solomons - 2014-11-24 08:44

    Eskom employs the 'seemingly' clever graduates, the same graduates that HAD to develop sustainable solutions as part of their studies...Why are these people not being used to assist in getting to the root problems, and come up with workable solutions, instead of making excuses. Channel some of your FAT SALARIES and BONUSES into getting your house in order!

  • Harley Mills - 2014-11-24 08:56

    There's only one reason: incompetence!

  • Leonard Rom - 2014-11-24 09:01

    my reason u cant run nothing so sad

  • Jacques Scholtz - 2014-11-24 09:03

    The Eskom Execs should be in prison. Instead they get millions in bonuses. That may have something to do with it.

  • Brendies Gibby - 2014-11-24 09:04

    Eskom must buy my meat back because according to the schedules they have on rhe web was wrong. They said we were in stage 2 which means our suburb was Teu,Thurs and Sat from 16:00-20:30. Yesterday they cut our electricity for nearly more then six hours. That is unacceptable because there schedules are out of date. Time to stop paying for electricty which is very expensive, lets go back to the primative ways were we use candles and coal stoves which are build on the outside as well as build "donkeys" to make hot water.

  • Kurt Driemeyer - 2014-11-24 09:04

    These idiots would have not had to borrow so much money if they had of started their project when it was supposed to have started. Waiting 10 years to begin is obviously going to increase costs exponentially, how stupid can they be??? if they had of done regular maintenance when it was due and not have left things to decay to such a point then we would be in a much healthier situation in this country, also giving huge performance bonuses to their top management is unacceptable, they are NOT PERFORMING so why give them bonuses, the country is suffering like hell because of the loadshedding and businesses are closing down almost daily. Was at Pavillion yesterday just after 10am and there was load shedding, almost 605 of businesses had their doors closed for business and their staff sitting around doing nothing at all. HUGE LOSS OF REVENUE and the centers owners are not going to drop rent for them because of this.. ESKOM NEEDS TO WAKE THE HELL UP AND GET THEIR HOUSES IN ORDER. They should be made to pay businesses back for their loss of income... In saying this Municipalities also need to make a conscious effort to reduce their electricity loads, driving through durban in the evening is a real eye opener. loads of wasted electricity, especially Durban Magistrates Court where every light on every floor is on.. Courts dont operate on weekends so why are all the lights on 24/7/365?? and then there are 10's of other buildings with the same...

  • Ashne Beinart Segal - 2014-11-24 09:09

    Everything they say is b ...s, it is their ineptitude, lack of skills and lack of accountability which has caused this debacle. They were warned years ago to get their act together. Incompetent bunch of idiots!

  • Ramon Gokaran - 2014-11-24 09:12

    Funny how this happens when the news is rife about talks about a nuclear energy deal

  • coenraad.vaneeden.5 - 2014-11-24 09:12

    Re instate the whites to teach and it will be good

  • Mmapelo Aphane - 2014-11-24 09:21

    F'tsek Eskom.Whatever the excuse fotsek.Yeeeerrr!!!

  • Renier Oosthuizen - 2014-11-24 09:34

    One word: "Useless"

  • Christian Evans - 2014-11-24 09:35

    No more excuses, you are crippling the economy, now get on with it!

  • Ben - 2014-11-24 09:35

    So in short no skills, knowledge and experience.Sounds about right.

  • DraconiaShadow - 2014-11-24 09:43

    ja neh ... if only you listened to the white owners right after 94 .... these upgrades should have been done by 2003...... i have one reason why eskom is load shedding : incompetence

  • David Lambiotte - 2014-11-24 09:53

    There is only one reason why load shedding is happening. Eskom is run by short sighted, greedy people with no common sense or logic aka stupid.

  • Erna Speed Glitterbug - 2014-11-24 09:54

    In others words - all that Eskom has improved on = load shedding and blackouts.

      Gary Moses - 2015-02-14 01:09

      And they get paid very well to do so

  • Martin Goodman - 2014-11-24 09:54

    After the hefty hikes in rates we expect NO EXCUSES or our money back !!! Our rates were raised 120% in a matter of 2 years , If there are no results we deserve a credit for our contribution , Instead of huge bonuses being paid to unskilled management and contractors ...

  • Christopher Booise - 2014-11-24 10:01

    Reason No.7 - Stupidity & Incompetence

  • Jacqui Daane Van Rensburg - 2014-11-24 10:02

    The government never blames itself, it is always the fault of someone else.

  • Paul Valas - 2014-11-24 10:03

    And the best part...year on year we are paying significantly more to Eskom.

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