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Terence Creamer

Terence Creamer

Terence Creamer is the Editor of Engineering News and a Deputy Editor for Mining Weekly.

He also has editorial responsibility for Polity.org.za and Creamer Media's Research Channel Africa.

Tel: +2711 622 3744

Email: newsdesk@engineeringnews.co.za

Editorial Insight

Rediscovering Mandela

By: Terence Creamer     13th July 2018 The great leadership challenge of our times is to make the correct decisions, and implement them, in a world that is increasingly failing to recognise that the destiny of all humanity is as tightly interwoven as a seamless cloth. One of the extreme ironies of the so-called connected generation is... 

Derisking Eskom

By: Terence Creamer     6th July 2018 The term ‘too big to fail’ came to the fore during the so-called Great Recession, which arose after America’s sub-prime mortgage crisis triggered the collapse of Lehman Brothers in late 2008. The concept was attached to those businesses in the financial sector that had become so large as to make... 

Think demand

By: Terence Creamer     29th June 2018 At any gathering where South Africans convene to deliberate on the country’s economic predicament, one well-worn narrative will inevitably arise. It begins with the statement that South Africa is endowed with natural resources that are second to none. What follows is a lamentation about the fact... 

Conflicting strategies?

By: Terence Creamer     22nd June 2018 Eskom may have a technical case for reviewing the National Energy Regulator of South Africa’s (Nersa’s) tariff determination for 2018/19. However, it’s not fully clear how the move gels with its intention to claw back energy-intensive customers lost over the past decade and a bit largely as a... 

Power shift

By: Terence Creamer     15th June 2018 One of the more interesting exchanges during the recent gathering of energy stakeholders in Johannesburg arose as a result of a question posed to Energy Minister Jeff Radebe by Wits Business School Energy Leadership Centre director Dr Rod Crompton. Crompton, who is a former full-time regulator at... 

Policy posers 

By: Terence Creamer     8th June 2018 South African energy policymakers would be well advised to take note a few recent reports as they move to finalise the long-awaited update to the Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) for electricity, as well as the Integrated Energy Plan (IEP). The first of these is titled ‘Status of Power System... 

Liquid fuels in focus

By: Terence Creamer     1st June 2018 With so much attention having been paid, correctly, to electricity in South Africa over the past ten-and-a-bit years other energy subsectors, such a liquid fuels, have been left to evolve in relative anonymity. That’s not to say they haven’t faced serious policy and existential challenges. The... 

‘Essential foundation’

By: Terence Creamer     25th May 2018 In a new book published by the World Bank and UCT Press, President Cyril Ramaphosa’s plan for crafting a new social compact with business, labour and civil society is described as an “essential foundation” for overcoming the country’s legacy of racial exclusion, which remained the main cause of... 

Promise and perils

By: Terence Creamer     18th May 2018 While President Cyril Ramaphosa was having a breakfast meeting with his Economic Cluster Ministers at Genadendal last week, to deliberate on ways to deliver on the $100-billion-investment goal, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) released a report highlighting just how important investment is... 

No deal without trade-offs

By: Terence Creamer     11th May 2018 Over the past couple of months megaphone, or more accurately, Twitter, diplomacy seems to have borne a degree of fruit. Images of South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un shaking hands over the concrete line dividing the two countries in the heavily-fortified... 

Refusing to accept defeat

By: Terence Creamer     4th May 2018 A new academic study, titled ‘Structural Transformation in South Africa: moving towards a smart, open economy for all’, offers a brutal, and somewhat depressing, assessment of the state of manufacturing in Africa’s most industrialised economy. Produced by the Industrial Development Think Tank,... 

Fighting chance

By: Terence Creamer     27th April 2018 The new, credible boards appointed at South Africa’s largest and most troubled State-owned companies (SoCs) – Denel, Eskom, Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa and South African Airways – must be given every opportunity to succeed. If they fail, the consequences for the country’s fiscal... 

Why business should care about inequality

By: Terence Creamer     20th April 2018 South African business needs to sit up and take note of new analysis that not only confirms South Africa as the world’s most unequal country, but that extreme inequality is now a major constraint to future growth. The analysis is contained in the World Bank’s latest South Africa Economic Update,... 

‘Sunlight the best disinfectant’

By: Terence Creamer     13th April 2018 Asset manager Futuregrowth attracted praise and criticism, possibly in equal measure, when it announced in August 2016 that it was suspending lending to six large State-owned enterprises (SoEs), owing to concerns over the state of their governance. The list included the Development Bank of... 

Long way to go

By: Terence Creamer     6th April 2018 The signing, by 44 African countries, of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) is encouraging, albeit that the development is at odds with the current global backlash against freer trade. It should be noted that South Africa did not sign the agreement in Kigali, Rwanda. However,... 

Oversight opportunity not to be missed

By: Terence Creamer     30th March 2018 One of the few positives arising from the disastrous period during which President Jacob Zuma occupied the Union Buildings is the fact that it appears to have woken up Parliament, albeit belatedly, to the oversight role envisaged for it in the Constitution. As Institute for Security Studies... 

Decisive shift in energy debate

By: Terence Creamer     23rd March 2018 South Africans should be in no doubt that the content and tone of the conversation about electricity has shifted decisively, notwithstanding the unexpected decision by the Department of Energy to refrain, last week, from signing long-awaited agreements for 27 renewable-energy projects. Prior to... 

Is there a plan?

By: Terence Creamer     16th March 2018 The change to South Africa’s electricity balance over the past few years has been well documented. Nevertheless it is still quite remarkable. The National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) now estimates that excess capacity will be about 3 912 MW in 2018/19. In fact, in its reasons for... 

Radebe’s inbox

By: Terence Creamer     9th March 2018 Having initially exercised some restraint in his retention of Dipuo Peters as Energy Minister from May 2009 to July 2013, former President Jacob Zuma grew increasingly agitated by the lack of nuclear progress and made several changes in relatively quick succession. Ben Martins, Tina... 

Reality bites

By: Terence Creamer     2nd March 2018 Necessity, it is said, is the mother of invention. However, in the case of South Africa’s embattled State-owned companies (SOCs), necessity is undoubtedly also the mother of pragmatism. In his response to the debate on his State of the Nation Address, President Cyril Ramaphosa struck a pragmatic... 

Pace of policy dance must now quicken

By: Terence Creamer     23rd February 2018 South Africans have become more than accustomed to the slow-slow-quick-quick-slow steps of the national political dance. However, if there is to be any prospect of a sustained economic, social and moral recovery, the pace at which political and policy decisions are made will need to quicken. In... 

Good money after bad?

By: Terence Creamer     16th February 2018 It seems an eternity since there has been anything to be excited about when it comes to South Africa’s most important, and most embattled, State-owned company (SoC), Eskom. Since 2008, the business has lurched from supply crunch to wet-coal chaos, from funding crisis to construction confusion,... 

Disrupting mindsets

By: Terence Creamer     9th February 2018 The main disruption in the global energy milieu over the past five years has been a “disruption in the mindset,” Engie CEO Isabelle Kocher asserted during a recent panel discussion at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. In fact, she argued that this shift in thinking (about the role... 

It’s déjà vu all over again

By: Terence Creamer     2nd February 2018 For those of us in the media, Eskom is the gift that keeps on giving. For ten years, hardly a week has gone by without the embattled power utility inspiring a shock headline of crisis, corruption or political intrigue. Had the real and digital ink spilled over Eskom been rain, Cape Town’s... 

Surgery not a Band-Aid

By: Terence Creamer     26th January 2018 Eskom’s debt refinancing is undoubtedly a critical burning platform. The clock is most definitely ticking and the consequences of not closing the immediate financial chasm will be dire not only for the utility, but also for citizens. That said, government is extremely unlikely to allow Eskom to... 

Fix or fail

By: Terence Creamer     19th January 2018 2018 is set to be yet another big year for the South African electricity utility, which has been in the headlines for all the wrong reasons for more than ten years now. Dealing with the fiscal and economic risks posed by Eskom’s current lack of sustainability has to be a top priority. And because... 

2017: Good, bad, ugly?

By: Terence Creamer     15th December 2017 By this time next week, our general dismal assessment of 2017 will either have been confirmed, or entirely overhauled. If Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma (NDZ) has been elected African National Congress (ANC) president, the national mood will be one of anxiety and depression, notwithstanding the... 

Forced self-correction

By: Terence Creamer     8th December 2017 I could not agree more with Energy Minister David Mahlobo’s recent Parliamentary reply, in which he stated that there was no longer a need to build large power generation units, owing to the availability of low-cost smaller generation alternatives. In response to Economic Freedom Fighters MP... 

Eskom’s tin ear

By: Terence Creamer     1st December 2017 There very were few sharp exchanges during the National Energy Regulator of South Africa’s (Nersa’s) public hearings into Eskom’s 2018/19 revenue application. However, one particular exchange between Nersa CEO Chris Forlee and Eskom interim CEO Sean Maritz stood out. During the first of three... 

Game Changers

By: Terence Creamer     24th November 2017 Without doubt, the problems at Eskom, together with the ongoing debate over nuclear, are making it extremely difficult for South Africans to pay proper attention to some of the game-changing shifts under way in global energy markets – ones that have real and far-reaching implications for this... 

We have a demand problem, Minister 

By: Terence Creamer     17th November 2017 National Energy Regulator of South Africa and Eskom executives will naturally be relieved that hearings into the State-owned utility’s revenue application for 2018/19 have drawn to an end. However, it is somewhat of a pity that Energy Minister David Mahlobo did not have an opportunity to attend.... 

Supply shadow makes way for demand cloud

By: Terence Creamer     10th November 2017 As public hearings into Eskom’s application for allowable revenue in 2018/19 of R219.5-billion enter their final stretch, resistance to the proposed 19.9% tariff hike from April 1 remains as strong as ever. An appeal by acting Eskom CEO Sean Maritz for the National Energy Regulator of South... 

Eskom an enormous risk indeed

By: Terence Creamer     3rd November 2017 While there are very few positives to draw from Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba’s maiden Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement (MTBPS), his acknowledgement that Eskom poses an “enormous risk” to the entire economy is one. “Eskom exposes government to an enormous risk because of the size of its... 

Going fission?

By: Terence Creamer     27th October 2017 We know for certain what President Jacob Zuma’s latest Cabinet reshuffle was not. It was not about South Africa, or about good governance. It was not about doing what is necessary to place the economy back on a growth trajectory. It was not about dealing with the triple scourge of poverty,... 

Lessons from China’s solar surge

By: Terence Creamer     20th October 2017 Last year, when Eskom illegally put the brakes on the country’s hitherto successful renewables roll-out, new solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity around the world grew by 50%, reaching over 74 GW. The International Energy Agency’s (IEA’s) ‘Renewables 2017’ report indicates that the record year for... 

Fiscal storm warning

By: Terence Creamer     13th October 2017 In the World Bank’s tenth and most recent ‘South Africa Economic Update’, the risk of “fiscal slippage” is highlighted as arguably the country’s most worrying immediate downside risk. The report points to signs of revenue under-collection amid ongoing upward expenditure pressures as the 2019... 

Sustainability roadmap

By: Terence Creamer     6th October 2017 Restoring good governance at Eskom is undoubtedly the most pressing priority for the State-owned utility and arguably among the top five current priorities for government itself. Absent an extraordinary recovery in the group’s credibility, the prevailing trust deficit between Eskom and society... 

Stay woke

By: Terence Creamer     29th September 2017 For all the wrong reasons, Eskom’s profile has remained high despite the stabilisation in electricity supply over the past year and a bit. Most of the current news flow has to do with governance failings and allegations of State capture and corruption. Sadly, the debate about the future structure... 

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