Eskom paid R300 billion (and counting) for 2 deeply flawed coal-fired dinosaurs

The troubled Medupi power station in Limpopo. Picture: EWN

The entire world is moving away from coal-generated power. Renewable energy has become so much cheaper, and yet we’re stuck building these two inefficient, badly designed power stations when what we should be doing is moving as fast as we can towards renewable sources.

Carol Paton, journalist - Business Day

We have to remember who was running Eskom. They were Jacob Zuma cronies… they were there to loot Eskom…

Carol Paton, journalist - Business Day

Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan intends to hold accountable those responsible for the poor design of Eskom’s enormous coal-fired power stations Kusile and Medupi.

Numerous defects are resulting in recurrent breakdowns and excessive repairs.

Gordhan, who has launched an inquiry into the failing power stations, warned that litigation would follow once he knows what happened.

Italian firm Enel will investigate the reasons for the powers stations’ constant failure.

Eskom has spent more than R300 billion on the two substandard power stations.

The Money Show’s Bruce Whitfield interviewed Carol Paton, a journalist at Business Day.

Listen to the interview in the audio below (and scroll down for more quotes from it).

Eskom had known about these problems. The fact that they haven’t reached the politicians’ ears is surprising…

Carol Paton, journalist - Business Day

There’s a lot of despair at the moment.

Carol Paton, journalist - Business Day

The plant is randomly breaking… I don’t think sabotage is the only explanation. The fact that Eskom cut its maintenance… the plant is old… and the new power stations aren’t delivering the power they’re supposed to… I’m not ruling out that there has been sabotage here and there…

Carol Paton, journalist - Business Day

Can they be fixed…? There are a lot of doubts about that…

Carol Paton, journalist - Business Day

…the depths of the political problems that the ANC has… Cyril Ramaphosa has people with authority in his own party saying it’s a secret plot to privatise… A lot of the problems at Eskom are due to State Capture, they’re due to Jacob Zuma, they’re due to the fact that the ANC wouldn’t get rid of Jacob Zuma and now the fact that the ANC is divided on the issue…

Carol Paton, journalist - Business Day

This mistake Pravin Gordhan and Cyril Ramaphosa made was to think that you put new people in and Eskom starts running…

Carol Paton, journalist - Business Day

People in South Africa are starting to realise how important engineers are!

Carol Paton, journalist - Business Day

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