Eskom’s R800 million per month diesel bill is unsustainable, DA reiterates call for Eskom to be declared a State of Disaster

Issued by Kevin Mileham MP and Ghaleb Cachalia MP –
17 May 2022 in News

Please find attached soundbites in English and Afrikaans by Kevin Mileham MP

The announcement by Eskom Chief Operations Officer Jan Oberholzer that the power utility has burned through 40 million litres of diesel so far this month, and that diesel shortages may result in further, more extensive loadshedding highlights the urgent need for government to heed the DA’s call for Eskom to be declared a State of Disaster.

At a time when diesel is in short supply in South Africa and refining capacity is at an all-time low, 40 million litres represents more than R800 million that could have been utilised to add new generation to the grid. Instead, it is being used to prop up Eskom, which is increasingly unable to keep the lights on.

The latest information from Eskom indicates that the power utility has 1 904MW offline for planned maintenance and a further 17 255MW offline from unplanned outages.  This represents approximately 37% of Eskoms’s total installed capacity.

Last week, the DA submitted a request to cabinet for Eskom to be declared a state of disaster, in order to:

  • Fast track the licencing and application process for new generation;
  • Prioritize budgets to focus on new generation capacity; and
  • Make it easier for citizens, businesses and municipalities to generate their own electricity and procure directly from independent power producers.

South Africa needs to unite behind a vision of hope for our electricity sector, if we are to rescue our economy.

The DA reiterates its call for politics to be set aside and the whole of society – Eskom, IPPs, engineering bodies, civil society and the public at large – engaged in ensuring a reliable and consistent supply of electricity that meets demand. Loadshedding is job shedding. It is past time to put an end to it!