A year ago, then Eskom CEO Phakamani Hadebe announced a nine-point plan to restore SA’s electricity supply. None of the points was headed “Do proper maintenance”. Last week, Eskom’s new CEO, André de Ruyter, said his recovery plan for Eskom will focus on doing exactly that. 

The bottom line, according to De Ruyter and Eskom COO Jan Oberholzer, is that Eskom has delayed doing proper maintenance on its ageing generation fleet for the past 10 years to keep SA’s lights on “at any cost”. But, like so much else in SA, the long-term costs of this short-term expediency have finally caught up with the country...

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