Jul 26, 2012
Electricity distribution network collapse three years awayBack
Africa|Components|Energy|Eskom|Africa|South Africa|Electricity Distribution Industry|Electro-technical Services|Energy|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
Other Electricity News
Updated 5 minutes ago Unregistered motorists in Gauteng owe the SA National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral) over R1-billion in unpaid e-toll accounts, Transport Minister Dipuo Peters said. As of May 31, the unaudited amount owed for more than 90 days was R156 623 567 while R995 362 885 was...
Recent Research Reports
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.
Real Economy Insight: Road and Rail 2014 (PDF Report)
This six-page brief covers key developments in the road and rail industries over the past 12 months, including details of South Africa’s road and rail network and prospects for both sectors.
Real Economy Insight: Steel 2014 (PDF Report)
This four-page brief covers key developments in the steel industry over the past 12 months. It provides an overview of the global and South African steel and stainless steel markets, South Africa’s major steel producers and events that have shaped these markets.
This Week's Magazine
Multinational semiconductor chipmaker corporation Intel announced its national campaign to further acquire partners to drive its She Will Connect programme, an initiative that aims to expand digital literacy skills to young women in developing countries, further into...
South Africa's MeerKAT radio telescope array programme should get back on schedule within a few months. This assurance has been given by SKA South Africa (SKA SA) associate director: science and technology Prof Justin Jonas. Early last month, Science and Technology...
The Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa’s (PRASA’s) Metrorail service will remain a subsidised service following its current multibillion-rand rolling stock, station, depot and signalling upgrade programme. PRASA group CEO Lucky Montana has allayed fears that...
The uncertainties around the remediation of affected areas as addressed in the Contaminated Land Provisions in the National Environmental Management: Waste Act No 59 of 2008 will possibly spark litigation and disputes between landowners and businesses, contractors...
South Africa is currently the largest component of the African Development Bank’s (AfDB’s) active portfolio in Southern Africa, comprising 62.5% of the bank’s $7.9-billion exposure to the 12-country region – the second largest beneficiary is Mauritius, which...