Jul 26, 2012
Electricity distribution network collapse three years awayBack
Africa|Components|Eskom|Africa|South Africa|Electricity Distribution Industry|Electro-technical Services|Energy|Maintenance|Service|Services|Deon Louw|Infrastructure|Power|Overstrand
"We are three years away from collapse," Deon Louw, the deputy director of electro-technical services in Overstrand municipality, Western Cape, told MPs.
"It is going to collapse in stages, as some parts are older than others. We will see power failures."
Louw told public hearings on the electricity distribution industry --hosted by Parliament's portfolio committee on energy -- that the lifespan of a distribution network was 50 years, and said the various components of South Africa's had an average age of 47 years.
He said power failures were often wrongly blamed on Eskom's generation capacity, when in fact the fault lay with ageing distribution infrastructure.
Two days of hearings have seen experts reiterate warning that the country faced a R35 billion backlog in distribution maintenance, of which R10 billion was needed on the Eskom network, while the rest referred to municipal networks.
But Louw said municipalities often "stole" from their maintenance funds to cover other unforeseen expenses, such as higher than expected public service salary increases.
"That is often the one area where they can reduce expenditure."
Louw said at the moment R3.5 billion was spent annually on maintenance, but the figure needed to increase to R6.5 billion.
The hearings have heard calls for maintenance funding to be ringfenced, which can only be done through legislation, and for a one percent levy to be charged on distribution.
Edited by: SapaComment Guidelines (150 word limit)
Updated 1 hour 16 minutes ago Increased maintenance costs, poor rolling mill yields and strike action have widened Evraz Highveld Steel’s operating loss, from R149-million in the nine months ended September 30, 2013, to R483-million for the comparative 2014 period. The company added on Monday...
Updated 1 hour 17 minutes ago Energy Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson has misled Parliament and should be suspended pending an investigation, the DA said on Monday. "Reports indicate that the minister was involved in recommending and appointing Mr Tshepo Kgadima as chairman of the board of...
Recent Research Reports
Defence 2014: A review of South Africa's defence industry (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Defence 2014 report examines South Africa’s defence industry, with particular focus on the key participants in the sector, the innovations that have come out of the sector, local and export demand, South Africa’s controversial multibillion-rand...
Road and Rail 2014: A review of South Africa's road and rail infrastructure (PDF report)
Creamer Media’s Road and Rail 2014 report examines South Africa’s road and rail transport system, with particular focus on the size and state of the country’s road and rail network, the funding and maintenance of these respective networks, and the push to move road...
Real Economy Year Book 2014 (PDF Report)
This edition drills down into the performance and outlook for a variety of sectors, including automotive, construction, electricity, transport, steel, water, coal, gold, iron-ore and platinum.
Real Economy Insight: Automotive 2014 (PDF Report)
This four-page brief covers key developments in the automotive industry over the past 12 months, including an overview of South Africa’s automotive market, trade figures, production and the policies influencing the sector.
Real Economy Insight: Construction 2014 (PDF Report)
This five-page brief covers key developments in the construction industry over the past 12 months. It provides an overview of the sector and includes details of employment in the sector, infrastructure and municipal spending, as well as insight into companies’...
Real Economy Insight: Electricity 2014 (PDF Report)
This five-page brief covers key developments in the electricity industry over the past 12 months, including details of State-owned power utility Eskom’s generation activities, funding and tariffs, independent power producers and prospects for the sector.
This Week's Magazine
JSE-listed real estate investment trust (REIT) Rebosis Property Fund achieved a distribution growth of 8.1% to 99.45c per linked unit in the financial year ended August 31, despite volatile market conditions.
A low-cost, inflatable incubator won this year’s international James Dyson design award, which aims to encourage and inspire the next generation of design engineers.
The World Bank released its ‘Doing Business 2015: Going Beyond Efficiency’ report last month and ranked South Africa 43 out of 189 global economies for its ease of doing business, with Singapore topping the rankings.
Air Products South Africa officially launched its R300-million Eastern Cape air- separation unit (ASU), at its new manufacturing facility in the Coega Industrial Development Zone (IDZ), earlier this month. It is the second facility that Air Products launched in South...
BMW South Africa (SA) has signed a power purchasing agreement with energy company Bio2Watt. The offtake partnership will bring renewable energy to the carmaker’s Rosslyn plant, north of Pretoria.