Of course they do. And we are. First we had President Zuma laughing his way through a Parliamentary session on the Budget. Then the Minister of Police had to the temerity to insult our intelligence by baldly stating that the most unlikely expenditure on Nkandla, Zuma’s private residence, were all installed for security purposes. Then FIFA bribe scandal broke. To cap it all, is the ongoing saga about Eskom.
After Nkandlagate the next episode of the soap opera that is South Africa under Zuma was released. Then came the FIFA imbroglio in which the American FBI allege that the South Africans paid a bribe to a FIFA executive amounting to $10 million. What has been the government’s reaction? Bluster, lies and cover-ups from the Minister of Sports, Fikile Mbalula. At the best of times, he first has to remove the one foot from his mouth before he can insert the other one. Upon closer inspection after every denial, investigative journalists would undercover another piece of the jigsaw puzzle which would undermine part of the denial. Like the seasoned politician that he is, he just dug himself a bigger hole through more bluster.
Main picture: Silo collapse at Majuba Power Station
Clearly implicated in this bribe, is none other than the affable Mr Danny Jordaan of SAFA [South African Football Association] who was recently appointed as the new Mayor of Port Elizabeth and the incumbent, an 84 year old, was senile.
Correspondence soon linked Mr Olifant of SAFA to the bribe. When the members of the Opposition suggested that the first witness to be called to account to the Parliamentary Committee for Sport should be the ANC star, Mr Jordaan, the ANC members vetoed the suggestion as they claimed somebody like Mr Mbalula, who was still in short trousers at the time would be the more knowledgeable person to appear in order to answer to the charges!!!!
The lies about the Eskom debacle are the ones that I find so irksome. After having to endure a 2 ½ hour drive home tonight due to load shedding, I was again fuming. Only last week the new CEO of Eskom, Brian Molefe, had categorically stated that there would be no need for load shedding this winter. Then why was I sitting in the traffic due to load shedding!
Then I again had to listen to the inane reasons supplied for the lack of electricity: Apartheid, too much rain, too little rain. A new one arose on the 702 Talk Radio today: too many cloudy days!. Perhaps it was a practical joker’s idea of a lame excuse, but given the level of absurdity that the suits at Mega Watt Park expect the gullible public to accept, it is a plausibly yet another one of the numerous red herrings to be aired.
Of course the real reasons are well known:
- Incompetent management. The previous Chief Executive Tshediso Matona lasted no more than six months before Eskom parted company with him on an amicable basis ie a huge wad of cash. That was shortly after the Chairman of the Board was implicated in tender irregularities.
- The level of electricity produced today as compared with 20 years ago is significantly less
- Lack of maintenance. The collapse of a two silos has cost Eskom in excess of a billion rand to repair
- Replacement stations – Kusile & Medupi are 7 years behind schedule
- Lack of coal as Eskom refuses to purchase from white owned mines
- Lack of skills despite unemployed white technical skills being available
When a well-known expert in the electricity field, Chris Yelland, today released scary pictures not on the lack of maintenance to the power stations themselves but to the infrastructure itself, it showed yet another dimension to the problem. Decaying infrastructure implies that all elements of the supply chain from the mines to the customer are now suspect.
Yelland illustrated the dismal state of Eskom’s local distribution infrastructure through the photos posted below. [Photos and comments taken from MyBroadband]
Eskom distribution board in Hurlingham
An Eskom distribution board in Hurlingham, Johannesburg in a derelict state
City Power switch gear cubicle
A City Power 11KV switch gear cubicle on the side of Beyers Naude Drive is strapped together with band-it.
“I saw this broken cubicle for four months, and I was reporting it for all four months. After three months they put the band-it around it. Before that the doors were lying in the veld,” said Yelland.
Eskom distribution box in Sandton
An Eskom distribution box in Sandton clearly shows the poor state of local electricity infrastructure.
City Power mini sub-station
A City Power mini sub-station outside of Yelland’s house in Craighall also shows the lack of maintenance on local infrastructure.
Eskom distribution board in Sandton
An Eskom distribution board in Sandton which leaves a lot to be desired.