South Africa – truly on the horns of a trilemma

  South Africa’s energy system is a textbook illustration of the challenges outlined in the World Energy Council’s (WEC’s) energy trilemma model, says Brian Statham, Chairman of South Africa’s WEC member committee. Finding a balance between energy equity, energy security and environmental sustainability is at the heart of the policy debate in both government and business […]

Security of electricity supply in South Africa

  A confidential report to the Department of Public Enterprises, dated July 2006, on security of electricity supply in South Africa, written by Duncan Wilson and Ivan Adams, has come to the attention of EE Publishers. Although marked confidential, the report has some historical significance, having been submitted some 18 months prior to the loadsheedding […]

How short-term Eskom objectives impacted on its long-term performance

  A fascinating document written by a senior Eskom executive in 1996 has come to the attention of EE Publishers. The document was handed to Public Enterprises Minister Stella Sigau at that time when a proposal was submitted to her that Government / Eskom dispose of a mothballed power station to an interested consortium comprising […]

Recommendations to address the generation capacity “crisis” in SA

  The 2014 electricity blackouts in have brought into stark relief the failure by government, the Department of Energy, the Department of Public Enterprises, Eskom and municipalities to provide an adequate and sustainable electricity supply to meet the growing needs of the country, the economy and its people. The 1998 Government White Paper on Energy […]

The Jacob Marley column: A good credit rating

  Sir This time of the year, as everything winds down (except load-shedding), as old cracks become jokes and rains traditionally flood coal stockpiles (but water remains in short supply), while rock painted black is peddled as coal, when water seeps into cable casings and maintenance and – particularly – catering budgets, are overstretched, is […]

What will historians say in a hundred years from now?

  A friend of mine is in the advanced stages of recording a history of electrical engineering in South Africa from 1860 – 1960. The work is expected to be published in a hard-cover book format during 2015 and will make interesting reading for all electrical engineers and maybe a section of the general public […]

How Telkom is the analogue of Eskom

  It is hard not to be depressed about Eskom. The utility is not just another state-owned enterprise (SOE) in perpetual crisis; it is far more important than that. It represents almost our entire electricity system. Electricity is the foundation of our economy and frankly, the foundation of our broader society. If SAA doesn’t work, use […]

The Jacob Marley column: Conferences

  Sir The recent annual AMEU convention caused me to reflect on the curious habit of congregating in what is styled a “conference” – although now often referred to by as many different nomenclatures as there are specialised fields for trooping together in these ritual gatherings. As the year draws to a close, there are […]