Danger signals light up (again) at Eskom

By Daily Maverick Legacy 5 October 2009

Red lights have begun flashing at Eskom after electricity use has crept up to the point at which “involuntary curtailment” (aka blackouts) kicked in last year. "We've seen a steady increase in electricity demand over the past three months as large mines and smelters have returned to full production ... we have basically seen a full return of the demand to levels seen prior to the global economic crisis," spokesman Andrew Etzinger told Reuters at the weekend. The recession has saved Eskom’s blushes up until now, but Etzinger said the system was under pressure and “vulnerable to incidents”, which presumably means the “involuntary curtailment” exercises. The problem reflects the extent to which SA is vulnerable to things called “ceiling blockers” which allow economic growth, but only to a certain level or height, after which they hit the ceiling, and growth must stop. Eskom is the prime example of this phenomena, but by no means the only one. Of course, those with eyes on power capacity for next year’s Fifa Soccer World Cup may be forgiven for feeling a little edgy. Numerous sporting events fell victim to “involuntary curtailments” last year.


While we have your attention...

An increasingly rare commodity, quality independent journalism costs money - though not nearly as much as its absence.

Every article, every day, is our contribution to Defending Truth in South Africa. If you would like to join us on this mission, you could do much worse than support Daily Maverick's quest by becoming a Maverick Insider.

Click here to become a Maverick Insider and get a closer look at the Truth.

Election 2019

Maimane takes hardline on illegal immigration at DA’s 2019 campaign manifesto launch

By Ferial Haffajee

Canola oil is named such as to remove the "rape" from its origin as rapeseed oil.