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Transmission & Distribution News

Growing risk of ‘reform by default’ as South Africa battles to adapt to electricity transition 

By: Terence Creamer     19th October 2018 There is a growing risk of “reform by default” in South Africa’s electricity industry, which is already showing symptoms of the “proverbial utility death spiral”, whereby sales volumes fall as tariffs rise, with consumers opting for alternatives. This argument is outlined in a paper titled ‘The... 

City of Johannesburg, Eskom reach agreement to electrify Zandspruit

By: News24Wire      17th October 2018 Eskom and the City of Johannesburg have reached an agreement to rid the Zandspruit informal settlement of illegal electrical connections. The area has been rocked by protests, which flared up when two children were reportedly electrocuted last week. The protests entered their second day on... 

AfDB to provide €229m for Rwanda electricity programme

By: Marleny Arnoldi     16th October 2018 The Rwandan government has signed a €229.20-million funding agreement with the African Development Bank (AfDB) to support the country’s electricity supply improvement programme and expand access to electricity under the Scaling Up Electricity Access Program Phase II (SEAP II). This builds on... 

AfDB to provide €229m for Rwanda electricity programme
African Development Bank power, energy, climate change and green growth VP Amadou Hott

Eskom executive for generation Thava Govender quits

By: African News Agency      15th October 2018 Eskom's group executive for generation, Thava Govender, on Monday tendered his resignation after assuming the position only in March this year, the power utility's spokesperson Khulu Phasiwe said. Govender, who was also acting group executive of risk and sustainability, has worked for Eskom for... 

Medupi’s fifth unit synchronised to the national grid – Eskom

By: Simone Liedtke     9th October 2018 Unit 2 at Eskom-owned Medupi power station, in Limpopo, was loaded to 400 MW on Sunday afternoon, making it the fifth of the six Medupi units to be synchronised to the national grid. The unit produced first power on Sunday morning, at around 11:53. 

Lazard report on Eskom asset sale options due within days – Eskom chair

By: Reuters     8th October 2018 Financial adviser Lazard will conclude its assessment of which assets South Africa's State-owned power firm Eskom can put up for sale in the next few days, Eskom's chairperson Jabu Mabuza said on Monday. "We have hired Lazard to look at what assets, if any, we can dispose of on our balance... 

Lazard report on Eskom asset sale options due within days – Eskom chair
Photo by Dylan Slater
Eskom chairperson Jabu Mabuza

Eskom won't need more government cash over next year – Minister 

By: Reuters     8th October 2018 State-owned power firm Eskom does not require government cash injections over the next 12 months, the country's Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan said on Monday. Cash-strapped Eskom is critical to Africa's most industrialised economy as it supplies more than 90 percent of its power but... 

Eskom won't need more government cash over next year – Minister

Eskom suspends head of assurance, forensics pending investigation

By: Creamer Media Reporter      4th October 2018 Eskom has placed its senior GM of assurance and forensics Molefi Nkhabu on a precautionary suspension pending an investigation into circumstances surrounding internal audit investigation reports pertaining to transactions that he signed off on, which contain inferences or conclusions which had... 

Eskom to recoup R32.7bn RCA balance over four years

By: Terence Creamer     2nd October 2018 The National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) announced on Tuesday that Eskom would be allowed recover the R32.7-billion already approved as part of its adjudication of three separate Regulatory Clearing Account (RCA) applications over a four-year period, beginning in the 2019/20... 

Eskom to recoup R32.7bn RCA balance over four years
Photo by Dylan Slater
Nersa regulators at RCA hearings in May

Eskom expresses pride on its improved electricity access

By: News24Wire      28th September 2018 South Africa’s power utility Eskom on Friday said electricity access had improved from 36 percent in 1994 to 90 percent to date. Eskom said in 1994, at the “the dawn of democracy”, only 36 percent of the country had access to electricity, with 12 percent being rural electrification. To date, the... 

Eskom expresses pride on its improved electricity access

AfDB extends R2.87bn loan to Eskom to expand its transmission network

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     27th September 2018 The African Development Bank (AfDB) has approved a R2.87-billion loan for South Africa’s State-owned power utility Eskom for the upgrade and expansion of its transmission facilities. The funding supports the Eskom Transmission Improvement Project (ETIP), which will see the construction of 555 km... 

Electrical equipment range expanded

21st September 2018 Power distribution system supplier Magnet Group has expanded on its Carlo Gavazzi range by introducing multi-channel power analyser and automation products. These include WM50 multi-channel power analysers, which efficiently measure main electrical variables as well as voltage and current... 

Electrical equipment range expanded
MULTI-CHANNEL POWER ANALYSERS The Magnet Group specialises in the supply, implementation and support of electrical equipment

Eskom implements smart meters in Gauteng

21st September 2018 State-owned power utility Eskom is currently implementing an electricity network infrastructure programme in Gauteng that aims to improve the services rendered to customers through ensuring reliable supply and empowering them to control and manage their own consumption. The implementation process... 

Eskom implements  smart meters in Gauteng
Photo by Bloomberg
ESKOM’S INNOVATIVE SYSTEM The company is rolling out smart prepaid meters in Sandton and Midrand

Eskom needs to be 'rightsized' – Mabuza

By: Kim Cloete     28th August 2018 Eskom chairperson Jabu Mabuza says the utility is up to 33% overstaffed at all levels and may need to be "rightsized" in time. “We don't know whether we will downsize but we are determined to rightsize. We will do that within the confines of the Labour Relations Act. We can’t tell people here how... 

Eskom to sue Trillian; warns some dismissed Eskom employees still have their tentacles in the utility

By: Kim Cloete     28th August 2018 Eskom CEO Phakamani Hadebe says Eskom will continue to tighten the screws on implicated former and current employees and suppliers who have drained the utility of its resources and plunged it into debt. He told Parliament on Tuesday that Eskom would also sue Gupta-linked Trillian later this year... 

Maimane asks Ramaphosa to table terms, conditions of R33bn Eskom-China loan in Parliament

By: African News Agency      24th August 2018 Main opposition Democratic Alliance leader Mmusi Maimane said on Friday he had written to President Cyril Ramaphosa requesting that he table in Parliament within 14 days, the full terms and conditions of a R33-billion loan agreement state power firm Eskom recently signed with the Chinese... 

Eskom begins stakeholder interactions on ‘Strategy 2035’  

By: Terence Creamer     23rd August 2018 South Africa’s electricity utility Eskom has initiated a series of interactions with stakeholders as part of a review process designed to deliver a new long-term strategy, dubbed ‘Strategy 2035’, for the beleaguered organisation. The new leadership at the State-owned company, together with Public... 

Eskom begins stakeholder interactions on ‘Strategy 2035’

State capture inquiry gets underway in Johannesburg

By: African News Agency      20th August 2018 The judicial commission of inquiry into alleged capture of the South African State and its entities, referred to as ''State capture'', is set to begin on Monday in Johannesburg. At the centre of the hearings are the fugitive Gupta family, who have since left the country as allegations of... 

State capture inquiry gets underway in Johannesburg
Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo

NUM says ready to sign Eskom's wage offer

By: Reuters     16th August 2018 The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) said on Thursday it was ready to sign a three-year wage offer from state power firm Eskom provided the utility agrees not to discipline staff who went on strike illegally. Investors want to see a resolution to the standoff between workers and Eskom as any... 

Hawks investigate cases related to Gupta-loot worth more than R40bn

By: News24Wire      16th August 2018 The Hawks are investigating cases related to the Guptas' state capture project that involves more than R40 billion which has been plundered from state coffers. Lieutenant General Godfrey Lebeya presented the Hawks' progress in several cases of state capture to the Portfolio Committee on Police on... 

Numsa rejects Eskom disciplinary action proposal against striking workers

By: African News Agency      16th August 2018 The National Union of Metalworkers South Africa has rejected Eskom's proposal to institute disciplinary action against workers who participated in industrial action during protracted wage negotiations, on the grounds that the power utility is an essential service.  On Wednesday Eskom declared a... 

Kibo to acquire 60% stake in UK energy company

By: Simone Liedtke     15th August 2018 Africa-focussed energy company Kibo Energy has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for the acquisition of a 60% equity interest in UK company Mast Energy Developments (MED). Under the terms of the MoU, Kibo can acquire a 60% shareholding in MED for £300 000 payable to existing MED... 

Municipalities owed R139bn for services – Cogta

By: News24Wire      15th August 2018 Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Zweli Mkhize has revealed that municipalities are owed R139-billion for municipal services rendered. He said that the outstanding billions made it difficult for them to pay money owed to Eskom. Mkhize was responding to questions in the... 

Lazard drafting plan to bolster Eskom's balance sheet – sources

By: Reuters     14th August 2018 State-owned power firm Eskom has hired financial adviser Lazard to draft a plan to shore up its balance sheet as it struggles to emerge from a financial crisis, two banking sources told Reuters. Cash-strapped Eskom is critical to Africa's most industrialised economy as it supplies more than 90%... 

Eskom vows to take disciplinary action against striking workers

By: African News Agency      13th August 2018 Eskom on Monday vowed to take disciplinary action against its workers who embarked on industrial action and damaged infrastructure last week as the power utility and unions failed to reach an agreement in protracted wage negotiations. The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa)... 

Eskom vows to take disciplinary action against striking workers

Company appoints resellers to install sealing systems

By: Jessica Oosthuizen     10th August 2018 Distributor and maintenance contractor Southern Africa Master Distributors (SAMD), which is the Africa representative for sealing solutions provider Beele Engineering, has trained and appointed resellers in key industries to install Beele Engineering products, says SAMD sales and marketing... 

Company appoints  resellers to install  sealing systems
Photo by Creamer Media
SOLAR SEALING Southern Africa Master Distributors is in negotiations to supply Beele Engineering products for a solar plant, in the Northern Cape

Energy access a catalyst for economic growth, says green energy company 

By: Simone Liedtke     3rd August 2018 Access to cheaper and reliable energy, through renewable energy technology, would be a catalyst for boosting the African continent’s gross domestic product (GDP) in a sustainable way, green energy technology provider New Southern Energy (NSE) CEO David Masureik told Engineering News Online in a... 

Energy access a catalyst for economic growth, says green energy company
New Southern Energy CEO David Masureik speaks to Engineering News Online about renewable energy projects and Africa's energy future. Video and Editing: Nicholas Boyd.

Power system recovery to take 30 days, load-shedding risk remains high 

By: Simone Liedtke     3rd August 2018 State-owned Eskom expects it will take up to 30 days for the power system to recover from the effects of the recent industrial action, which interrupted continuous processes at the power stations. During the 30-day recovery period, the risk of load-shedding remains high, it warned on Friday. 

Power system recovery to take 30 days, load-shedding risk remains high

Numsa takes Eskom's latest wage offer back to members

By: African News Agency      3rd August 2018 The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) said on Friday that it would take the latest wage offer made by power utility Eskom to its members for ratification.  This, as Numsa, together with other trade unions, met with the management team of Eskom on Thursday under the auspices... 

Numsa takes Eskom's latest wage offer back to members
Numsa general secretary Irvin Jim

Solidarity accepts Eskom's latest wage offer

By: African News Agency      2nd August 2018 Trade union Solidarity on Thursday said its members had accepted power utility Eskom's wage offer. In a statement, the union said "it would now do everything within its power to stabilise the power grid", after members indicated they would accept an offer of a 7.5% wage increase for this year, 7%... 

Eskom postpones power interruptions to the Emfuleni municipality 

By: African News Agency      2nd August 2018 South African power utility, Eskom on Thursday said it has postponed the planned power interruptions to the Emfuleni municipality following a court interdict lodged by a group of local businesses in the greater Vaal area, in Gauteng. Eskom spokesperson Khulu Phasiwe said the businesses have asked... 

Eskom offers investors up to $1.5bn of 10-year bonds – source

By: Reuters     2nd August 2018 South Africa's struggling state-owned power firm Eskom offered investors up to $1.5-billion of ten-year bonds on Thursday, a source familiar with the matter told Reuters. Separately, Eskom spokesperson Khulu Phasiwe said Eskom was planning a foreign bond sale and that the firm's chief executive... 

Eskom workers down tools at some South African power stations

By: Reuters     30th July 2018 Workers at some of South African State-owned utility Eskom's power stations have downed tools after an impasse over wages but supply has not been disrupted, spokesperson Khulu Phasiwe said on Monday. A spate of controlled blackouts was triggered last month following worker-led protests after the... 

Eskom workers down tools at some South African power stations

Eskom confident of raising R72bn despite qualified audit  

By: Terence Creamer     23rd July 2018 Financially stressed electricity producer Eskom expressed confidence on Monday that it would be able raise the R72-billion it required for the 2019 financial year, despite having received a qualified audit opinion for the 2018 financial year, reporting a R2.3-billion loss and nearly 20-billion in... 

Eskom confident of raising R72bn despite qualified audit
Eskom chairperson Jabu Mabuza explains why IPPs do not pose a financial risk to the utility. Camera Work & Editing: Nicholas Boyd. Recorded: 23.07.2018

Eskom in talks with government over firm's headcount

By: Reuters     23rd July 2018 Power utility Eskom said on Monday it was in discussions with the government to look at the cash-strapped firm's headcount in effort to boost productivity. "These are discussions we are having with our shareholder," said CEO Phakamani Hadebe, during the State-owned company's results presentation... 

Eskom reports R19bn in irregular expenditure, net loss of R2.3bn 

By: African News Agency      23rd July 2018 South Africa's cash-strapped state power utility Eskom has uncovered R19-billion in irregular expenditure going as far back as 2012, its chairperson Jabu Mabuza said on Monday in a statement accompanying the company's results for the year ended March 31. The entity also reported a net loss after... 

Eskom reports R19bn in irregular expenditure, net loss of R2.3bn
Photo by Dylan Slater
Eskom chairperson Jabu Mabuza

Eskom blames illegal connections for Soweto power failures

By: African News Agency      20th July 2018 Parts of Soweto have gone without electricity for several days, but Eskom has simply said there is nothing it can do because the power failures are caused by "illegal connections". Residents of Zola, Emndeni, Zondi, and Mofolo residents have taken to social media to vent their frustrations about... 

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