The civil rights organisation AfriForum today expressed strong criticism regarding Eskom’s coal crisis which endangers the power supply of communities and municipalities.
It became public knowledge that four of Eskom’s fifteen power stations have less than ten days’ coal at its disposal. This situation can also hit other power stations considering that ten of these stations have less than twenty days’ coal reserves at their disposal.
Dr Eugene Brink, AfriForum’s Strategic Advisor for Community Affairs, wants to know how Eskom could allow things to get to this point. “According to Eskom, the problem lies with the Gupta company Tegeta that was placed under business rescue and can no longer delver coal. However, the question is why no plans were made during the course of the year to bring new suppliers on board seeing as Eskom has already earlier this year been warned specifically about a shortage of coal. In addition, Tegeta is a notorious company that has become synonymous with state capture, corruption and low-quality coal and should have been dismissed as supplier a long time ago.”
According to Brink, coal must now be transported at an expensive rate from the Medupi power station in Limpopo. “It also damages the roads and leads to safety and traffic problems. Many municipalities also objected to this and that is why the process has also been delayed for now. Plans to have it transported via railway are also not being followed through. Eskom has merely not planned sufficiently. They could have at least started earlier to gradually move coal between power stations, but unfortunately that also didn’t happen.”