Parliament, The Standing Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa) will next week conduct oversight visits to the Kusile and Medupi power stations. The committee is also scheduled to meet with Eskom’s Board and executive management after the oversight visits.

Scopa has been concerned about Eskom’s performance for the past few years. The entity has received qualified audits two years in a row, in 2016/17 and 2017/18. During that time, Eskom incurred a loss of R2.3 billion, R19.6 billion in irregular expenditure and a debt of R380 billion in 2017/18. In addition to financial losses, there have been power outages that have had a negative impact on the economy.

The committee has noted that a major contributing cause of the current outages is the poor performance of Eskom’s two new power stations, Medupi and Kusile, which were intended to come on-stream with additional capacity and provide a buffer for Eskom’s existing coal fleet. The building of the coal-fired power stations, which started in 2007 and 2008, has been hit by cost overruns, poor engineering design and allegations of corruption. Initially, Medupi’s first unit to supply power to the grid was supposed to be completed in 2012 and the remaining units were to be completed in 2015. The projected completion date is now 2021. The initial completion date for the Kusile was 2014 and the projected completion date is now 2022/23. It is in this regard that Scopa is conducting oversight visits to these two power stations and meeting with the leadership of Eskom.

Source: Parliament of the Republic of South Africa