Junk status requires some drastic changes of plans to avoid unnecessary and expensive borrowing. The Kriel power station, for instance, produces 3,000MW and is not scheduled for decommissioning before 2023. It is paid for and produces more power than three units at the new power stations, which are being built with borrowed money. Would it not be better to keep Kriel going for another 10 years and postpone the building of some of the new Medupi and Kusile units?

Similarly, Komati is not due for decommissioning until 2024, so why close down units now? The fully depreciated power stations produce much cheaper electricity than new units. Junk status also means a stagnant economy and, probably, a declining demand for electricity.

The situation calls for an urgent rethink.

Janine MyburghPresident of the Cape Chamber of Commerce and Industry

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