In 2007, after the first failure of government policy to source new generation from independent power producers (IPPs), Eskom hurriedly embarked on constructing two 4,800MW mega coal power stations, Medupi and Kusile, with budgets of about R80bn each.

Medupi was scheduled for completion in 2014 and Kusile 2015. Sixteen years and more than R300bn later, after being born in corruption and a subsequent accumulation of human and mechanical error, Kusile is struggling to spew out a single megawatt. Medupi is performing somewhat better but has been no stranger to breakdowns and delays...

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