Eskom coal

‘Load-shedding was caused by Eskom’s negligence’ – OUTA

The blackouts hit the economy hard, and it may have all been engineered by Eskom

Eskom coal

The Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse has told Parliament’s Public Enterprises Committee that the rounds of load-shedding in 2008 and 2014 were ‘self-inflicted’ by Eskom.

The civil action group claim to have the evidence which shows that the scheduled blackouts wouldn’t have been necessary if not for Eskom’s blatant unprofessionalism.

Ted Blom used to work for Eskom, but he is now part of OUTA’s operations as Portfolio Director for Energy. He firmly believes that the energy giants engineered load-shedding to cover their own backs:

“I have evidence, and I say so very candidly, that the load shedding of 2008 and the load shedding around 2014 was self-inflicted by Eskom and it is also part of the corrupt practices.”

Why did load-shedding happen?

. In 2008, key producers ‘held Eskom hostage’ for supply. The utility responded by playing their own version of hardball, and willingly withdrew power from the public.

. Then in 2014, they were 100% responsible for the enforced electricity blackouts. Poor maintenance standards between 2010 to 2014 – which saw many major repair works simply left unfinished – triggered the energy crisis three years ago.

Read: Eskom is ‘very captured and full of holes’

Both incidents had a profound, negative effect on the economy – and Eskom had their fingerprints all over it.

OUTA is finalising their extensive report into Eskom’s business practices and the case is expected to be heard by the parliamentary committee next week.

Mr Blom was not too impressed by their financial results released last week, either:

“Not only have the results been prepared and signed off by the Gupta-appointed and captured CFO, but the Eskom chairman is also squarely in their camp”

“Pity the acting CEO, Jonny Dladla, tried to make light of the calamity facing Eskom. Having accepted the poisoned chalice in good faith, it would be a miracle if Dladla survives more than 90 days.”

Read: OUTA believe they have the charge sheet that will cost Zuma his job

The Eskom group all insisted that the entity is on a sound financial footing. This is despite the massive drop in profit from R5.2 billion in 2015/16 (the restated net profit) to R900 million for 2016/17.

Electricity sales are down. Electricity prices are up. And Eskom is facing a shed-load of trouble…