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.

Gallery

Support DAILY MAVERICK & get FREE UBER vouchers every month

An increasingly rare commodity, quality independent journalism costs money, though not nearly as much as its absence can cost global community. No country can live and prosper without truth - that's why it matters.

Every Daily Maverick article and every Scorpio exposé is proof of our dedication to this unshakeable mission. Investing in our news media is by far the most effective investment into South Africa's future.

You can support Independent and Investigative journalism by joining Maverick Insider. If you contribute R150 or more per month you will receive R100 back in UBER vouchers. EVERY MONTH until October 2019.

So, if you'd like to help and do something meaningful for yourself and your country, then sign up to become a Maverick Insider. Together we can Defend Truth.


Days of Zondo

Agrizzi: Inside Bosasa’s corruption production line

By Ferial Haffajee

Donald Trump is the first American president not to own a dog since William McKinley in 1901.