Quo vadis Eskom?

The South African economy relies on the availability of a reliable, affordable and adequate supply of electricity. Economic growth is thus dependent upon the success of Eskom as its prime supplier of electricity. The power utility’s leaders are working to improve its performance, but are they moving the utility in the right direction? In a […]

Why giving South Africans title deeds isn’t the panacea for land reform

The land reform debate in South Africa has become increasingly polarised since Parliament resolved to consider amending the country’s Constitution to allow for the expropriation of land without compensation. But the slow pace of land reform – a process that aims to address the dispossession of the previously oppressed black majority – will not be solved by amending the Constitution. That is […]

The life-saving urgency of reducing air pollution

The severity of the impact of climate change on health is increasingly clear. A report tabled by the World Heath Organisation (WHO) following the recent COP24 meeting in Poland, presents important findings and makes vital recommendations.  The drivers of climate change – principally fossil fuel combustion – pose a heavy burden of disease, including a major […]

Coal 2018: Analysis and forecasts to 2023

Coal remains a major component of global fuel supplies, accounting for 27% of all energy used worldwide and making up 38% of electricity generation. It plays a crucial role in industries such as iron and steel. But concerns about air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions cloud the future of coal. This year’s annual IEA coal […]

Eskom COO Jan Oberholzer explains…

. A refreshing openness by Eskom’s new management was demonstrated yesterday in an exclusive interview with Eskom COO Mr Jan Oberholzer by EE Publishers. The interview followed dramatic developments in the operations of Eskom this year, including the decline in the utility’s generation plant performance, shortages of coal at power stations in Mpumalanga, the return […]

Interview: Is there light at the end of Eskom’s tunnel?

. Bruce Whitfield, the host on Talk Radio 702’s Money Show, interviewed Chris Yelland, an energy commentator and the managing director at EE Publishers, following Eskom’s media briefing on 28 November 2018, where it released its interim financial results for the 6-month period to 30 September 2018. Whitfield asked Yelland about Eskom’s position and the […]

Is renewable energy really the future? Industry bodies say it is

In a presentation to the Regenesys Business School in Johannesburg recently, Busi Nxumalo, the vice chair of the South African Photovoltaic Industry Association (SAPVIA), said that renewable energy is a key element in South Africa’s economic growth plan. Renewable energy has been included in the Department of Energy’s integrated resource plan (IRP) for electricity from […]

Geomatics: Addressing the elephants in the room

Following the successful AfricaGEO 2018 Conference in Gauteng, please allow me to share a few observations. After the provisional conference programme was announced, I was excited about the various sessions relating to challenges in the geomatics profession. Despite its profound history, the geomatics profession (particularly land surveying) is becoming less popular compared to professions such […]

Comments on the draft integrated resource plan (IRP2018)

The recently released IRP2018 draft, a discussion document and not cast in stone, differs significantly from both the 2010 and 2016 versions. Changes which steer the plan away from a diverse mix of technologies in the direction of a high dependence on renewable energy have evoked a large amount of comments, both pro and anti. […]

South Africa’s electricity systems to change dramatically

Modern technologies, which have already impacted the way we communicate, are entertained, work and live, are about to change the way we generate, use and pay for electricity. The digital age, which was born with the invention of the microprocessor integrated circuit in the late 1960s, has revolutionised modern society. Digital techniques are used in […]