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Supply side problems
25 Jan 2008
Riaan Engelbrecht

IN response to Debbie Wilsonís letter (The Witness, January 22), I totally agree that Eskom staff in general are not to blame for the current chaos and resultant load shedding. However, it is quite clear that Eskom senior management should shoulder the full blame and be made to walk the plank.

Eskom chooses to point the finger of blame at customers, suggesting they should reduce energy use by 20%. At virtually every instance, Eskom management has pushed the demand side manager to the fore, implying that Eskomís problem is excess demand.

While demand for energy has increased, Eskomís problems are more a result of its supply side deficiencies.

Last winter, during a period of generally higher demand, we did not experience any load shedding. Why then can Eskom not supply the same quantum of energy now? It has conceded that it needs to be professional about maintenance. It seems that it shut down a large percentage of generating capacity instead of managing this process over a period of time. Who is to blame for this?

Like it or not, Eskom is in a mess and South Africa is left to carry the can. The more we stand together to do so, the better. However, I believe only until Eskom comes clean regarding the situation, putting everything on the table, warts and all, and takes customers into its confidence, will South Africa be able to move forward and make the best of this chaotic situation.

ē Letter shortened.

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