Carol Paton Writer at Large

It was only 18 months ago that Eskom had an excess of electricity and then interim CEO Matshela Koko appealed to business and consumers to buy more power — an unlikely prospect as prices were rocketing. The excess came after several years of scarcity in which load-shedding became a daily reality across SA and Eskom ran diesel power open-cycle gas turbines daily, spending billions on diesel. But things have again changed, and awfully fast. In the past month or so Eskom has found itself back in the state it was in during the load-shedding years prior to 2015: it doesn’t have enough electricity to keep up with demand; it is running its diesel open-cycle gas turbines hard most days to avoid load-shedding; and its plants are shot, resulting in repeated unplanned outages. There is again a real risk that even if the economy was to grow significantly, Eskom would be unable to provide the energy to power it. The country’s most diligent Eskom watcher, engineer and publisher Chris Yelland, has...

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