Department of Energy – more talk or a move to action?

  Speaking at a breakfast hosted by The New Age and SABC at the Sandton Convention Centre on 23 June 2014, the new minister of energy, Tina Joemat-Pettersson, indicated the priorities she has set herself in her new portfolio. Central to this appears to be an appreciation of the weaknesses in her department, and the […]

Eskom’s energy and revenue loss management

  Energy losses continue to be a challenge for utilities globally, both in developed and developing economies. As a result of increasing production costs in the value chain, utilities have to manage these losses at acceptable levels. In South Africa the problem is exacerbated by Eskom’s generation capacity challenges. Losses incurred in electrical power systems […]

Priorities for our new minister of energy

  Tina Joemat-Pettersson faces a daunting task as South Africa’s new energy minister. She will be the seventh energy minister since the advent of democracy in 1994 (on average, ministers have occupied the position for less than three years). None have truly put their stamp on the sector and the challenges the new minister faces […]

Communications – what is Zuma thinking?

  What is President Jacob Zuma thinking?  Yunus Carrim is out and former security minister Siyabonga Cwele is in the hot seat to manage South Africa’s telecommunications, in a new department called the Ministry of Telecommunications and Postal Services. Before the election the communications industry had generally expected that Carrim would continue as the minister […]

South Africa’s low voltage network unprepared for bi-directional power flows

Delivering the SANEA lecture to an audience of about 100 at the Sasol auditorium in Rosebank, Johannesburg on the evening of 13 May 2014, Dr. Hendri Geldenhuys, a corporate specialist in smart grid technology at Eskom, discussed the importance of embedded generation (also known as distributed generation) to the overall energy supply in South Africa. […]

The role of engineers and the technical media in civil society

  This paper was presented on 6 April 2014 by Chris Yelland, managing director at EE Publishers, at the Civilution Congress 2014 held at Emperors Palace, Kempton Park, South Africa, from 6 to 8 April 2014. Background to the prevailing environment First some background on the prevailing environment in which we find ourselves as engineers […]

How electricity could unite Africa

  Electricity supply constraints are a significant hurdle to future growth, but a regional approach using market mechanisms will go a long way to addressing electricity shortfalls and to reduce expenditure on wasteful projects, to the benefit of electricity consumers and economies in the whole region.  Despite all the efforts, Africa’s quest for unity has […]

Mobile termination rates all at sea!

by Hans van de Groenendaal, features editor, EngineerIT ICASA did not follow the rules… but the South Gauteng High Court has allowed lower asymmetrical mobile termination rates to be implemented for six months. Lower rates are in the public interest, says the judge! On Monday 31 March 2014 the South Gauteng High Court ruled that […]

Electricity problems converge as the outgoing Eskom CEO departs

We bid farewell to Brian Dames, the outgoing CEO of Eskom, after his last day at the utility yesterday. With the earlier departure of former Eskom financial director, Paul O’Flaherty, and head of communications, Hilary Joffe, this signals the end of an era – short though it was, at about four years. While Dames’ departure […]