Eskom load shedding

[Split from Re: Uhuru]

Hello, and welcome to the forum, Pets — glad you find it entertaining and a little useful.

Admittedly, my prior post which amused you was more than a bit harsh and I agonised over it before posting while re-reading Boer’s message in search of any cogent argument possibly tucked away amidst all that vehement rhetoric. Finding none, I despatched the thing on a “Aw, what the heck” moment.

Regarding Eskom’s current practices (pun very definitely intended), their term “load shedding” is an inaccurate and euphemistic bit of eye-wipe, no doubt chosen by a team of spin-doctors and/or marketing types. It would be more correct to speak of “load shrugging” (as in “shrugging off”) because “load shedding,” as an engineering term, assumes that there is additional infrastructure available that will handle the excess load and thereby alleviate that placed on the primary infrastructure. The latter prerequisite clearly does not exist.

But this is the “Conspiracy Theories” board, so here goes: A case could made for Eskom deliberately downplaying their actual power capacity, i.e. that the energy picture in SA is not as dire as the “load shrugging” exercises seem to suggest. While the Western Cape has suffered energy problems for some time now, the rest of the country’s troubles started quite recently and quite abruptly rather than gradually becoming more pronounced. Also, the problems manifested in summer when domestic energy use late in the day is quite a bit lower than in winter. All of this is just a wee bit too suspicious… :smiley:

Could it be that Eskom is softening the public up to the idea that the pebble bed modular reactor (PBMR) programme is the best solution?

Perhaps someone would care to start a new thread, expanding on this speculation. :wink:


Gauteng have had problems for years now, even before the Koeberg fiasco in the WC there were regular power failures. As I understood it, mostly because of infrastructure getting old. I doubt they are downplaying their actual power capacity though. What might be happening is that residential loads are shed in favor of some of the bigger commercial projects.

I’m not even sure if Koeberg is fully operational atm. I seem to remember a press release somewhere that the gas turbines they were planning in the southern cape are operational now. We definitely need some more power stations and nuclear would be the way to go - a few power cuts to inflame the masses would surely cut through some red tape…

Actually, I was being more than a little bit tongue-in-cheek… :-X

True enough, but the failures and outages were localised, generally short-lived, fewer in number and sporadic in the past. These days they are regional, lasting several hours at a time, occurring more than once a day in some areas, and systematic to the point where one can set one’s clock by them (provided, that is, that one’s clock doesn’t require mains power).

Hmm, yes, I seem to recall something along that line.

PBMR installations take a while to build, though, and an inside source has revealed that structurally the SA PBMR organisation is near shambolic and festooned with a glut of red tape. Be that as it may, in an interesting twist, e News reported a few days ago that Thabo Mbeki publicly apologised to the people of SA for not allowing Eskom to start building new power stations five years ago already. If true, Eskom is still to blame for not alerting the public and the press sooner.


With regards to the PBMR comments, Eskom doesn’t need to convince the public of its’ efficacy etc. I have insider info that Eskom has been ready to install the PBMR unit for some time now - the only thing that’s halting it is one of our cabinet ministers refusal to sign the necessary documentation because the “kickback” is not sufficient… Only in South Africa hey!

Hello, and welcome to the forum, Logic_Bomb.

Do you have any evidence for this? Besides hearsay, I mean. Because our own two independent sources (a geological/geophysical consultant examining the long-term waste disposal issues, and an engineering project design management consultant) are currently both adamant that the PBMR is anything but ready to go ahead.


The DA comments – “Guns vs. Butter”…


Without nuclear power SA’s power crisis will never be resolved. In fact SA is very well suited for large scale nuclear power. With enough investment we can power the whole southern Africa. We will never have a problem with nuclear waste, the northern cape has vast areas of uninhabited space unlike in Europe where space is a problem(Namibia has even more space). The chances of a nuclear meltdown occurring is almost 0% with today’s technology. Even if one occurs it wont have the same effect as Chernobyl(technology and site). Stop delaying and give Africa power!

Nuclear waste disposal is, unfortunately, a somewhat more complicated affair than tossing away a used Kleenex.

Also, a meltdown is almost impossible in a PBMR. The design prevents it getting sufficiently hot.


I worked on building the new power stations in Mossel Bay and Atlantis in the Cape. The gas turbines are not receiving gas from Petro SA because Eskom hasn’t paid their bills and the power stations are using diesel to generate electricity. Also of all the turbines at Mossel Bay and Atlantis, Eskom only runs one turbine a day and only for a few hours at that, and it’s not to alleviate the power shortage in S.A. but to sell to our African neighbours. (wtf!!)Power shedding is a myth >:(