Eskom build programme ‘economy’s biggest stimulus’

State-owned power utility Eskom’s approved capital investment programme, which includes the capacity expansion programme, of about R450-billion and R500-billion over the next six years is the largest individual stimulus to the South African economy.

Eskom acts as a leading indicator of investment and job creation for sectors such as mining and energy-intensive manufacturing, whose businesses depend on reliable energy supply.

The programme started in 2005 and the investment in new generation capacity is progressing according to plan, Eskom said on Monday.

To date, more than 5 000MW have been completed of the programme to add 17 000MW of new generation capacity by 2014.

Releasing its annual results for the year to March, Eskom said it would spend R60-billion, or R10-billion in each of the next six years, to strengthen, refurbish and expand its distribution network.

A further R13-billion would also be spent on transmission projects, bringing the total amount spent on this aspect of the business to R27.4-billion between 2005 and 2017/18.

This was in addition to the R385-billion build programme, which is aimed at increasing the country’s generation capacity.

“Our build programme is on track and will deliver a more robust power system for South Africa in future,” said Eskom chief executive Brian Dames.

The utility said its largest projects, Medupi, Kusile and Ingula, were all proceeding according to plan.

At Medupi, already 42.4% of the estimated total cost of R98.9-billion has been spent, while Kusile, which will cost R121-billion, has already had 20.6% of its costs committed.

Medupi’s first unit was scheduled to come on stream in 2012/13, with capacity being added through to 2015/16, while Kusile would be brought on stream from 2014 through to 2018.

Ingula has already spent 36.7% of the R21.4-billion that will be spent.

In the meantime, the return to service of the mothballed coal-fired power stations was progressing well and should be completed within a year.

“One of Eskom’s most significant achievements of 2010/11 has been to move from a funding gap to a funding plan,” said Dames.

“We are implementing this R300-billion funding plan and are confident that the financial building blocks in place will enable the capacity expansion programme to be completed over the next six years,” Dames said in Eskom’s annual report.

About 71% of this funding has already been secured and will support the construction of the three large new power stations — Medupi, Kusile and Ingula. — I-Net Bridge

Subscribe to the M&G

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years, and we’ve survived right from day one thanks to the support of readers who value fiercely independent journalism that is beholden to no-one. To help us continue for another 35 future years with the same proud values, please consider taking out a subscription.

Sherilee L Lakmidas
Strength Integrity Grace Sherilee L Lakmidas has over 234 followers on Twitter.

Related stories

Gas: South Africa’s next ‘battleground’

As government pushes for a huge increase in electricity generation from gas, serious questions are being raised about the logic behind the move

Khaya Sithole: What’s the state’s role in business?

State participation is valid when the market can’t deliver what’s needed, such as roads and rail networks and telecommunications. But banks and airlines are private enterprise concerns

Covid-19 puts Eskom’s integrated resource plan at risk

The economic effects of the pandemic could hamper the government’s initiative to procure new generation capacity

Renewables will light up the darkness

More than 11 800MW of new electricity capacity from independent power producers will come online in 2022, giving Eskom space to do more maintenance on its unreliable infrastructure

Cape quakes no concern for Koeberg

Last week’s tremor has anti-nuclear campaigners questioning the safety of Koeberg, although the nuclear facility said the plant is designed to sustain a magnitude-seven earthquake

How to stop load-shedding, fast

COMMENT: The rapid roll-out of small-scale solar power will reduce pressure on the grid and and boost SMME sector

Subscribers only

Free State branches gun for Ace

Parts of the provincial ANC will target their former premier, Magashule, and the Free State PEC in a rolling mass action campaign

SAA bailout raises more questions

As the government continues to grapple with the troubles facing the airline, it would do well to keep on eye on the impending Denel implosion

More top stories

Hawks swoop down with more arrests in R1.4-billion corruption blitz

The spate of arrests for corruption continues apace in Gauteng and the Eastern Cape.

Catholic NGO boss accused of racism and abuse in Sudan

The aid worker allegedly called his security guard a ‘slave’

Agrizzi too ill to be treated at Bara?

The alleged crook’s “health emergency” — if that is what it is — shows up the flaws, either in our health system or in our leadership as a whole

SANDF hid R200m expenditure on ‘Covid’ drug it can’t use

Military health officials are puzzled by the defence department importing a drug that has not been approved for treating coronavirus symptoms from Cuba

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…

The best local and international journalism

handpicked and in your inbox every weekday