NEWS & ANALYSIS

Eskom could be running out of coal again – Natasha Mazzone

MP says SOE needs to come clean following reports of serious supply shortages

DA to request declaratory statement from Eskom on coal crisis

19 April 2018

The DA will write to the Eskom board to request a declaratory statement on the state of the power utility’s current coal supply which is reportedly sitting below 2008 levels (see here).

Reports emerged this week that Eskom’s coal supply levels at several power stations in Mpumalanga are so dire that the utility’s energy division recommended that a coal supply emergency be declared.

In order to meet electricity demands this year, Eskom has resorted to utilising emergency open-cycle gas turbines.

In order to put the country at ease, it is important that the Eskom board provide us with a declaratory statement detailing the exact levels of Eskom’s current coal supply and what mitigation strategies it has in place to prevent a complete collapse in the supply of coal.

An explanation of the coal situation was made in the Portfolio Committee on Public Enterprises yesterday, as well as a statement that contingency plans were in place for worst case scenarios.  This information must be placed on public record to reassure markets and concerned South Africans alike.

Although the performance of the new Eskom board has generally been open and transparent, interactions with the previous board have left the public with little faith in the utility.

Eskom’s coal levels are reportedly so low it could compromise the country’s electricity supply. It is therefore important that Eskom alleviate the public’s concerns and ensure that South Africans don’t face yet another cold and dark winter.

The coal crisis at Eskom no doubt stems from years of financial and operational mismanagement and the undue influence of the Guptas and their henchmen.

The DA hopes that the new Eskom Board will continue to be open and transparent with the public by providing this information.

Issued by Natasha Mazzone, DA Shadow Minister of Public Enterprises, 19 April 2018