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.