Electricity pylons at an Eskom coal-burning power station near Sasolburg. Picture: REUTERS/SIPHIWE SIBEKO
Electricity pylons at an Eskom coal-burning power station near Sasolburg. Picture: REUTERS/SIPHIWE SIBEKO

Much of what Yandisa Nongena says about the fiscal, financial and economic risks posed by Eskom are undoubtedly correct (“Eskom’s debt is an iceberg: they’re just rearranging the deck chairs”, November 28). So too the assertion that the proposed restructuring will not deal with the underlying causes of the crisis, a point I have elaborated on at length elsewhere.

However, what is strikingly wrong and entirely unsubstantiated is the suggestion that “structural changes to Eskom’s market design” will in any way address the problem. A restructuring of the electricity sector in the 1990s or early 2000s may have helped to avoid, or reduce the extent of, the current crisis. But that is water under the bridge.

Nongena, like too many others working in the renewables industry, proposes a restructuring that will favour the interests of renewables, but nowhere in this lengthy piece is it explained how a change in market structure will assist with the financial and operational crises we face now. There’s a simple reason for that: it won’t.

Dr Seán Muller
University of Johannesburg