South Africans have suffered 13 years of load shedding and still the ANC favours long-term nuclear and gas options over short-term renewable energy sources and own production that is immediately available.
Eskom has lost control of its fleet of power stations as South Africa is battered by load shedding, icy mid-winter cold fronts and a Covid-19 storm. (See Eskom’s daily report board below).
Since Friday, the electricity utility has ramped up Stage 2 rolling power cuts and on Sunday it started burning fuel at expensive emergency reserve turbines to keep the lights on.
With an economy in recession, two million jobs lost and high demand sectors still in lockdown, this displays how little energy reform has taken place and reveals the snail’s pace of reform at Eskom.
President Cyril Ramaphosa and Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan have repeatedly promised to end the crisis, but they appear unable to do so.
In February this year, Ramaphosa devoted the lion’s share of his state of the nation address to questions surrounding Eskom, as the country had suffered rolling power cuts at the start of the year. He promised, among others, emergency procurement of power from independent producers; an increase…