Mamparra Declares an Emergency for Eskom
- by Mamparra
If you are reading this post, you are most likely one of the lucky individuals in South African Mamparras who still has power to their computer or wireless router at this time. But millions of people do not, and millions more will find themselves in the same situation as the day progresses. They will go through all of this again tomorrow, the day after that, and the day after that, with no end in sight.
During these times, manufacturing facilities stop running their machines, businesses close their doors, medical facilities postpone patient surgery lists, and students in high school are unable to prepare for their matriculation exams.
However, the reassessment of plans is far more important. Plans for business expansion are shelved, investments are withdrawn, trips are canceled, positions are not filled, and employees are laid off. And when it appears that loadshedding will continue indefinitely, these things become irreversible. This is how a nation deteriorates until it is no longer viable.
So, What Is the Plan Going Forward?
According to the Eskom Mamparras’ press releases, the available capacity of our country’s power stations has reached a critical point, as multiple generation units at numerous power stations are out of commission at the same time. This situation has reached a critical point.
A significant number of these units have been offline for several months and will remain so for an indefinite period, while regular power station breakdowns drain even more megawatts from the system.
While this shortfall could have been mitigated in the past by the costly practice of burning diesel in open-cycle gas turbines, Eskom has simply run out of money to purchase diesel, so that option is no longer an option.
Even though Eskom’s fiscal year does not end until the end of March 2023, the amount set aside for diesel purchases for the year has already been spent. As a result, we are currently alternating between stages 4 and 5 of the loadshedding process. Due to this, no one can predict where we will be next week, tomorrow, or even just a few hours from now. Phrases like “complete shutdown” and “grid collapse” when addressing our current energy crisis have circulated more and more within our communities.
Our country is currently facing the greatest threat it has ever faced, an event that will far outweigh the disastrous economic consequences of the government’s Covid lockdowns. It is no longer socially acceptable to inconvenience people at their homes or workplaces.
This is a Question About South Africa’s Fate
If something like that happened, our country would simply be unable to withstand the collapse of the power infrastructure. As a result, the response to the energy crisis must be handled with the urgency, magnitude, and focus of a war-like situation. This is because the energy crisis must be addressed as a national security concern.
We Mamparras, as South Africans are continuously asking the following question:
- But why does it not appear that we are in the midst of a national security crisis?
- Where are the decision-makers in charge of developing our military strategy?
- Where can I find the weekly updates?
- Where can I find out more about the plan? Where can I obtain budgets? What steps are they taking, and what can we do to counteract them?
- Why are we forced to rely on erratic press releases from the energy supplier and then piece together the puzzle ourselves to comprehend the magnitude of the crisis?
- And, perhaps most importantly, where is our president?
Now, let us tell you where you can find him. He is on his way to tea with King Mamparra and is now trying to ride in a horse-drawn carriage down London’s Mall. His country is collapsing underneath the weight of three decades of ANC mismanagement and looting, and yet he is out there trying to clean up its image in the eyes of the press and venture capitalists, as well as posing for selfies at Buckingham Palace.
But we do not doubt that the head of state is aware that a consistent supply of energy is an absolute prerequisite for attracting new investment and maintaining existing investment.
This is not the time for flags and parades, afternoon tea and scones, or photos with members of the Royal Family. Now is the time to make a full-fledged comeback with all available resources. Now is the time to be open and honest, as well as present and realistic. It’s an Ideal Opportunity to Run for the Presidency.
He was constantly shown on television during the most intense phase of the Covid lockdowns. Where can we now get the most recent updates? And where is Deputy Minister DD Mabuza, the man entrusted by the president with the task of repairing Eskom?
While he is away on one of his enigmatic junkets in Russia, Angie Motshekga will be in charge. He’ll be gone for a long time.
So, while the country is experiencing its worst energy crisis and a public-sector wage strike, our president is schmoozing with the Royals, we have had an acting president abroad, and another acting president here at home, and no one is doing anything.
It’s Time to Stop Acting and Start Managing the Situation
While the media, analysts, and energy experts all appear to understand how dire the situation has become, our government appears to be sleepwalking right into this disaster.
Could their lackluster response be because they are well aware that they are solely accountable for the current situation? If they declare a national security urgent situation at this point, it would be an admission that their entire model of operation based on energy has been a failure since they took office. These are just a few examples:
- An admission that they should have invested in broadening their capacity much sooner.
- An acknowledgment that far more money should have been spent on maintaining and repairing their aging power fleet.
- An argument is presented here that they should have kept the critical abilities of senior engineers rather than having to sacrifice them on the altar of racial transformation.
- An admission that they should have opened the electricity market to private sectors a long time ago and on a significantly larger scale, but instead they have clung to their Cold War-era dream of state control and state monopoly.
- An admission that their party’s policy of appointing pliable and corrupt cadres to the executive of a critical entity like Eskom will eventually lead to the utility’s failure, bringing the country down with it.
- An admission that the ANC government’s relentless pillaging of Eskom through corrupt acquisition deals and kickbacks could only have one outcome: the destruction of South Africa. This is an admission that the ANC government has come to be associated with Eskom looting.
The Kusile Power Plant
This power plant, known as Kusile, represents all of these failures. The first stone for Kusile was laid in 2007, and the entire operation was scheduled to be completed in 2014 for R80 billion. However, construction was put on hold. The project is still not finished in 2022, even though the latest budget estimate has risen to well over R200 billion.
Kusile has six generation units, but four of them are currently offline, and this situation is expected to last at least a few months, if not longer. Kusile, along with the Medupi station in Limpopo, was supposed to be the ANC’s response to our impending energy crisis. However, rather than relieving the strain, they have only contributed to its exacerbation.
Let us not overlook that both Medupi and Kusile were the sites of a number of the most heinous looting in our country’s history. In 2019, it was discovered at Kusile that several Eskom executives, at least four construction companies, and contracts worth R10 billion were involved in a corruption scheme.
This power system is not technologically advanced. As a monument, this is the ANC’s ode to load-shedding. It is a massive innovation that serves as an example of why we cannot trust them to handle our country’s energy strategy or, for that matter, our future of this country.
The great news is that they won’t be in charge for much longer – they are a rapidly declining party that is unlikely to see another term in office. The bad news is that they have been in power for a long time. However, 2024 is a long time away. This must be addressed immediately.
South Africans are sick and mentally exhausted from hearing those stories because we have been told for years that things are improving at Eskom and that load-shedding will soon be a feature of the past, but nothing has changed. Because nothing has changed.
This situation cannot be resolved with words alone. It is not possible to will it more powerfully with thoughts and prayers. You must be honest about what caused it and courageous in the path you choose to reverse your course.
A State of Disaster
Since the start of loadshedding fifteen years ago, the DA has presented the government with an endless stream of practical propositions for how to stabilize our power connection and turn Eskom around. It is no longer feasible to dismiss those possibilities. When President Ramaphosa steps off the plane, the first thing he should do is declare a State of Disaster around Eskom as it’s the most critical action he can take.
This should have been done when he revealed his Energy Response Plan several months ago; however, he did not recognize the gravity and extent of the tragedy at the time, and as a consequence, our grid is now on the cusp of collapsing. An emergency State of Disaster must be declared so that funds for disaster relief can be reprioritized and open-cycle turbines can remain in operation in the short term.
But, more importantly, declaring a state of emergency will allow the government to avoid the roadblocks, bottlenecks, and cost increases that it has imposed on itself. These take the form of unworkable labor legislation, localization requirements, cadre deployment, and preferential procurement. If Eskom is to recover, the ANC’s policies, which are at the root of the organization’s demise, must be abandoned.
An Energy War Cabinet
Secondly, for our country to survive this crisis, President Ramaphosa must form an Energy War Cabinet. If there is a threat to the nation’s security, an appropriate response is required. If he was able to do so even during his government’s Covid lockdowns, he most certainly can do so now.
Importantly, this War Cabinet should include independent energy experts who understand what will be necessary for recovery and can counterbalance the philosophical sluggishness of his ANC cabinet and ineffective Energy Minister. These people should be aware of what is required for recovery. They must be given free rein to act in the best interests of the country rather than the party to which they belong.
Finally, President Ramaphosa must give his authorization for Eskom to address the critical shortage of skilled workers as soon as possible. Power generation experts are desperately needed throughout the utility company, from the executive suite to management and staff. The majority of Eskom’s most significant positions are currently filled by employees who are unaware of their responsibilities.
These experts are available somewhere; some are in South Africa, while others are in other countries; Eskom has an immediate need for them. Forget about cadre deployment and employment equity regulations; the only thing that is important here is employing the people who can save Eskom and our country.
If you are reading this post, you are most likely one of the lucky individuals in South African Mamparras who still has power to their computer or wireless router at this time. But millions of people do not, and millions more will find themselves in the same situation as the day progresses. They will go through…
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