CAN ESKOM DO IT?
ESKOM’S transmission system’s 10year development plan indicates that the state power utility is expected to spend more than R149 billion over the next nine years to deliver a reliable, highquality electricity supply throughout South Africa and the region.
Of the R149 billion, R3 billion is for customerrelated projects, R25 billion for generation integration projects, and about R121 billion for reliability projects. More than R22 billion is expected to be spent in KwaZuluNatal.
Eskom says the transmission system needs to be wellmaintained to deliver a reliable supply of electricity and it also needs to be strengthened to meet changing customer needs. Eskom’s ability to deliver a reliable supply to homeowners and businesses hit a stumbling block earlier this month when power was cut across large parts of South Africa. It was the first time Eskom had cut its power supply since 2008.
The reason behind the cut — seven days of heavy rain had left coal stocks wet.
Can Eskom balance its expansion plan throughout KwaZuluNatal, the rest of South Africa and the region, while ensuring it is able to meet the needs of existing individual and business users, without having to resort to regular power cuts? This remains to be seen.