CityPress - - Business -

Eskom’s re­sults, re­leased ear­lier this month, showed taxpayers have had to fork out R8 bil­lion for coal it wasn’t able to use at Medupi. This is be­cause Eskom has an off­take agree­ment with coal sup­pli­ers that it has to hon­our, de­spite Medupi be­ing years be­hind sched­ule and un­able to use the coal.

On the same day as Eskom’s re­sults were re­leased, Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma told jour­nal­ists South Africa had lost 1 per­cent­age point in its eco­nomic growth ex­pectancy due to lack of power. The coun­try’s es­ti­mated growth this year is sit­ting at an anaemic 2%.

In 2007, then Eskom chief ex­ec­u­tive Ja­cob Maroga said Medupi would be fin­ished by 2011 and cost about R69 bil­lion. The latest es­ti­mates show costs have risen to R154 bil­lion, with just one unit com­pleted – which added 794MW to the flail­ing grid.

Sibanye Gold, one of the top 10 power users in the coun­try, needs 500MW to op­er­ate.

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