Eskom remains our darkest screw-up. Its bosses have told us to be prepared for blackouts for 2-3 years. An outside expert, in a report i read this morning, said that it’s more likely to be 5-10 years.
The problem is that there are supposed to be full shutdowns for maintenance and then smaller sessions where are only parts are closed. It appears that the main shutdowns haven’t happened for years and our government was content to give Eskom a passing grade on the minor maintenance standard. That lower standard, as we’ve come to expect from so many levels of our government, has led to catastrophe.
The expected R50-billion bailout wasn’t going to cover Eskom’s needs even before they began using R2-billion’s worth of diesel monthly as a temporary measure (yes, that would be a likely reason why citizens have found no diesel at their local garage).
Our public suffering is an extreme irony – our electricity usage is down yet we experience load shedding before big business. Big business should suffer first because they’re more likely to put pressure on our government to make a plan.
Last week, a power expert from Germany was apparently begged for help whilst on holiday in our country. He agreed to 4 days but after 45-minutes into a briefing with Eskom’s top people, he walked out because they never understood him. You see, as qualified personnel complained about Eskom doing wrong, they were pushed out or fired, leaving only idiots behind.
Eskom has failed South Africa with management error load shedding.
We’re in for a helluva ride at the worst possible time i.e. volatility on world stock markets and increasing unemployment counter any positive claims by our government e.g. more tourists because of the weak rand (that an oxymoron by itself).
In Knysna, the past week, i know of 3 bars that bought generators. It’s mostly tough in our town so that they have to outlay the R10 000 is unfair… but wise considering that season is here and one of the few times that they’ll be able to recoup the cost. If you’re a business owner, make the difficult yet correct right decision like they did.
As an individual, maybe you should invest some of your savings in established solar and generator manufacturers and distributors 🙂 And plan more braais with friends and family!