If Eskom fails then South Africa fails

Eskom is R450bn in debt and 33% over-staffed (according to Jabu Mabuza, recently resigned chairperson of the Eskom board).

They are unable to service their debt through current earnings (which are barely enough to cover Eskom’s costs).

The latest estimates suggest that up to 40% of generating power capacity is now out of action.

According to Daily Friend, the entity remains possessed of a weak, and weakening, board, and extremely weak executive management, neutered, as it were, by the interference of ‘the shareholder’, which is the government.

“Try as we might, we can find no green shoots to suggest that the government is willing yet to concede what is so abundantly clear, that until the parastatal is run as an engineering business and not as an experiment in social engineering, recovery is impossible,” said the article published on www.dailyfriend.co.za

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So serious is the problem that the complete reworking of South Africa’s energy policy is now required.

What needs to be done is that the grid should be stripped out of Eskom’s hands and placed in the hands of a new parastatal, with all its generating capacity auctioned to private providers, the price of electricity floated and the market opened to large- and small-scale competitors.

In the current ideological and political climate, there is sadly very limited likelihood of such advice being pursued with any enthusiasm.

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