Eskom CEO: We're not out of the woods yet

Eskom CEO: We're not out of the woods yet

2014-03-11 14:01

Johannesburg - South Africa's power supply remains constrained, Eskom CEO Brian Dames said on Tuesday.

"We are not out of the woods yet, the system remains tight and vulnerable to any changes as we go into winter," he told journalists in Johannesburg.

The persistent rainfall had resulted in wet coal that made it impossible to power the stations, Dames said.

Last week, the power utility introduced emergency rostered power cuts in certain areas, called load shedding, to prevent a collapse of the national power grid because coal supplies for electricity generators became wet.

"The supply issues will be a problem for the next few months unless we have aggressive supply interventions of at least 3000MW," he said.

Power exports to neighbouring countries had been reduced by at least 10% so as to meet the domestic supply constraints.

Dames has resigned as CEO and will leave the power utility at the end of March.

  • Mike Heyns - 2014-03-11 14:06

    Mr. Dames Why don't you come out with what you really want to say?? "If Eskom can't give me a golden handshake because you did not give us our required increase? I will cut your power!"

      Ian Flack - 2014-03-11 15:20

      I think he should be forced to stay until we are out of the woods.... no golden handshake, no massive pension!

      Gary Bloom - 2014-03-11 15:52

      Also find it hard to believe that we've had pretty much continuous rain since you idiots cut the power last time and yet there is no shedding? Still sticking to the wet coal story Mr. Dames???

      Eugene Marais Swart - 2014-03-12 08:42

      Apparently it is a lack of cash flow...? Only what I heard.

  • Nicholas von Stein - 2014-03-11 14:15

    No, with no power. i thought all the wood got copped down so people could cook...........

      Mike Heyns - 2014-03-11 14:23

      Nicrsa, that is why everyone is starting to move to the idea of installing a gas hob in their kitchens with an electrical oven. Even when they use load shedding, you can still cook for your family and heat water to wash in! Gas cost is currently the same as electricity. After the next Eskom increase, gas should be cheaper! (Please note, "should be"!)

      Ann Ornelas - 2014-03-11 14:41

      Mike, I've gone one further than a gas in my kitchen.. Got solar geysers as well. These and a few battery powered camping lamps and I'm almost off the grid with the exception of fridge etc..

      Mike Heyns - 2014-03-11 15:12

      @Ann: Going to follow your example. Not so much the geyser, but general storage of power..... Any sales companies that can assist? Please comment on my FB!

      WollieVerstege - 2014-03-11 16:16

      Installed my own PV and Wind turbines and am proudly eskom free for 3 months now. Will see how things go in winter though.

      Mike Heyns - 2014-03-11 16:42

      @Wollie: PV? Approx. Cost.? Wind Turbine. Approx. cost? If you don't mind please? Sounds like a great idea!

      WollieVerstege - 2014-03-11 17:15

      @Mike. It depends on the type of system you install (there are many). Type of PV panels and turbines, do you want it linked to a UPS system or not. I.e. you want the Rolls Roys of systems or only the Polo Vivo of systems. Do you want to be 100% independent or only cover some of the usage. I started originally about 3 years ago and total cost to date has totaled just over 250k (purchase, installation, etc) - as I have a Rolls Roys system installed :). If you start today, the cost could be less than that as cost have come down a lot. I also swopped out all of my appliances for the most energy efficient I could find and also switched to gas for cooking. As high as the cost sounds though, if you crunch the numbers it's worth it. 3 years ago my monthly bill easily reached R3000 a month. That means that the system should pay for itself in about 7 years time, less if you factor in increases in electricity prices. You should also consider approaching your bank to fund this through your bond as it is seen as an improvement to the property - at least that is what my bank was prepared to do. It also increase your property value. You can imagine if you say to a potential buyer: buy my house and you never have to use eskom power again.

      Mike Heyns - 2014-03-11 18:35

      Thanks Wollie, will follow up!!

  • Cina - 2014-03-11 15:14

    And still bonuses and increases we will take and demand for good work done. Not.

  • Claire A Joseph - 2014-03-11 15:22

    "Rostered power cuts" really? Why then were people without power for most of the day? Oh that's right, you couldn't figure your own schedule out so you just cut power for everyone.

      David Wolpert - 2014-03-11 16:46

      That is obviously true-We had cuts yesterday,AFTER the so called "all clear"

  • Sean Tearnan - 2014-03-11 18:55

    Why is Eskom trading and selling coal overseas

  • Theuns Jacobs - 2014-03-11 19:14

    Hay mr ceo, pay yourself another bonus and tap yourself on the back for doing a pi*s poor job. Its the anc way!

  • Hannes Van Heerden - 2014-03-11 21:47

    Mr Dames Eskom made several statements the last week wrt the problems Eskom are encountering with the generation of power. The first was that the coal is wet due to the rain of the last week. This was a lame excuse, we had rain for a week or two and never wet coal prevented Eskom generating power. Today you trough the excuse that the coal is of a poor quality, now several questions comes to mind has Eskom paid for 1st grade coal but received low grade coal and secondly don’t Eskom employ quality controllers? Who is going to, in this day and age pay for top quality and you don’t check that you get what you paid for? Seem to me that the allegations is true, Eskom Management is incompetent! But they receive incentive bonuses. What a joke.

  • Sean Tearnan - 2014-03-12 09:13

    Wait until the platinum mines start operating again, big power cuts then gona happen.

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