Hilary Joffe Columnist

Eskom has taken several units at some of its oldest power stations out of service permanently because it can't fix them or can't afford to, cutting the capacity it has available to meet demand for electricity at a time when its power stations are performing worse than ever despite the money and effort spent on maintenance in the past few years.

However, it promised at the release of its interim financial results on Thursday that it is working with equipment suppliers to fix the defects at its newest power stations - Medupi and Kusile - that have seen them deliver only about 70% of the power they are supposed to supply, even though the utility is still in dispute with those same suppliers about who is to blame for the defects.

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