Eskom’s Diesel Expenditure Under Scrutiny

How is Eskom Keeping Loadshedding at bay?

Eskom's Diesel Expenditure Under Scrutiny

Kgosientsho Ramokgopa, the Minister of Electricity, has been prompted to provide detailed explanations on Eskom’s operational strategies, particularly concerning their avoidance of load shedding and their reported extensive use of diesel fuel. Concerns have arisen after it was disclosed that Eskom, South Africa’s primary energy provider, has incurred a massive R65 billion on diesel fuel from 2019 to the present.

Political parties, including the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) and the Democratic Alliance (DA), have raised alarms over these staggering figures. DA representative Mimmy Gondwe expressed that neither Eskom nor Minister Ramokgopa have satisfactorily clarified the rationale behind the heavy reliance on diesel.

Pravin Gordhan Confirms Massive Diesel Burning

In a parliamentary session, Pravin Gordhan, Minister of Public Enterprises, provided some insights, confirming the R65 billion expenditure over the past five years. Mimmy Gondwe highlighted the enormity of this spend, equating it to around R1 billion per month on diesel.

“Following the dismal failure by the Minister of Electricity Minister Kgosientsho Ramokgopa, and the Eskom Board chair Mteto Nyati to provide clarity on Eskom’s diesel use, evidence has since emerged that Eskom has been burning diesel at a rate and scale that dwarfs the annual budgets of NSFAS,” Gondwe commented.

She further criticized the sustainability of such practices, suggesting that burning such volumes of diesel could not be a long-term solution.

Allegations of Political Motivation

The IFP has taken a more accusatory stance, with national spokesperson Mkhuleko Hlengwa suggesting that the suspension of load shedding could be a strategic maneuver influenced by electoral motives.

“The IFP views the sudden suspension of load shedding as an election ploy. We must recall that less than 24 hours after the Springboks won the 2023 Rugby World Cup, load shedding returned to the country with Eskom implementing Stage 2 and Stage 3,” stated Hlengwa.

He further emphasized the essential role of reliable electricity supply for the country’s economic stability and warned of the potential long-term consequences if the power grid is compromised for political gains.

Call for Transparency

The situation calls for a transparent explanation from the Minister of Electricity. Stakeholders and the general public are urging Minister Ramokgopa to take decisive steps to inform the nation about Eskom’s operational decisions and future strategies, especially in light of the financial and environmental costs associated with diesel usage. This issue not only impacts Eskom’s financial health but also raises broader concerns about environmental sustainability and energy policy in South Africa.

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Written by Siphiwe Dlamini

Name: Siphiwe Dlamini
Location: Johannesburg, South Africa
Occupation: Journalist and Political Analyst

Siphiwe Dlamini is a dynamic and passionate journalist and political analyst based in Johannesburg, South Africa. With a unique blend of academic expertise and practical experience, Siphiwe has established himself as a trusted voice in the field of journalism, particularly in political reporting and analysis.

Siphiwe holds a Bachelor's degree in Journalism, where he honed his skills in investigative reporting, news writing, and multimedia storytelling. Additionally, he pursued a degree in Political Science, deepening his understanding of political systems, international relations, and policy analysis. This interdisciplinary educational background equips him with a comprehensive understanding of the socio-political landscape, enabling him to provide insightful commentary on current affairs.

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