Sat. Apr 20th, 2019

Eskom: Expert warns Gordhan’s plans could cause “grid meltdown”

Eskom load sheddingTed Blom knows his stuff on Eskom. He’s taken a good, long look at PG’s recovery plan and believes it merely serves as a blueprint for meltdown.

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On Wednesday, Pravin Gordhan crowed about the plans to lead Eskom out of darkness but cynics still remain utterly unconvinced. The DA dismissed his blueprints as “cheap electioneering”, and energy expert Ted Blom also criticised the minister for touting the utility’s powers of recovery.

Speaking on eNCA this Thursday morning, Blom questioned Gordhan’s methodology and picked holes in his suggestions that Eskom could limit load shedding to a Stage 1 maximum.

Why Ted Blom believes there could be an Eskom “meltdown”

He said that any attempts to try and cap cuts when they need to be implemented could increase the risk of a “grid meltdown”, which would cause a national blackout if improperly managed:

“The minister said he’d limit power cuts to Stage 1. That’s ignorant… Load shedding is determined by the system, not politicians. If that hard cap has been put onto Eskom, he’s upped the chances of a meltdown by 30%: If there’s too much demand and not enough supply, the whole grid collapses.”

Ted Blom

Gordhan highlighted plans to increase generational capacity at certain plants and a drive to encourage consumers to use less electricity as the main aces up his sleeve. He believes that load shedding can be eradicated if everyone at the top pulls their weight, but not many people will hold their breath on that one.

Legal action for load shedding

De Beer Attorneys, a well-renowned law firm, has called upon South Africans to hold Eskom to account for the effects of load shedding and join them in filing a class-action lawsuit against the utility. While Blom believes the current board are responsible for these failures, he doesn’t believe that businesses can successfully sue Eskom:

“On a technical basis, there will be difficult issues to solve via a class action lawsuit. Eskom get their supply to us through different channels, so there’s no uniform approach. There’ll be no success in the high court. But if you trade negligently as the Eskom board have, you must be held responsible.”

Ted Blom

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