South Africa: you’re going to have to wait seven more years for Eskom to get back on track

Well, at least the utility is being honest with us; a brutal, crushing honesty that paints a very grim picture for those of us who rely on Eskom to fulfil its most basic mandate.


Eskom’s chief executive Brian Molefe has made it perfectly clear that the utility isn’t even close to getting out of the woods, saying that it’ll take about seven more years to ‘resolve all network constraints and achieve the network redundancy levels required by the South African grid code’.

Now, while Eskom’s execs have been milking the system of as much cash as they could stuff in their pockets over the last few years; the utility itself has been suffering due to lack of funds. Sure, a couple of hundred million wasted is hardly enough to power the country, but it sure as f*ck sets a pretty kak example don’t you think?

According to Fin24 Eskom intends to spend R213 billion between 2016 and 2025 in an attempt to strengthen the transmission network, increasing infrastructure by 10 000 km of high voltage lines.

 “This is part of our commitment to capital expenditure and why Eskom currently has one of the largest capital investment projects in the country. This investment is R6bn of the R55bn earmarked for the current financial year,” Molefe said.


“We have made some adjustments the Transmission Development Plan, including re-phasing of the capital investment in transmission projects, to align with the current available funding.”

Ok cool, lay more cables, but what about Medupi and Kusile – the two coal-powered plants that are almost five years behind schedule – and Eskom’s inability to generate electricity in the first place? You can lay all the cabling you want, but they’ll mean nothing if we don’t get generating capacity up to scratch Mr sleight-of-the-hand Molefe.