The strike by coal truck drivers is a direct result of Eskom’s bad management, bad planning and corruption in recent years,” says the Cape Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
“We know from the Denton’s report that Eskom has been overpaying for coal and diesel and the use of trucks is the most inefficient and expensive way to transport coal,” said Ms Janine Myburgh, President of the Chamber. “This has made a lot of money for truckers and miners alike and it is no wonder they are upset, but the party has to end.”
She said the Chamber believed there was a lot more to the story. Eskom had been dragging its feet on its commitment to sign agreements with independent power producers and the action of the truckers had given them another reason for delay.
It was also interesting to see the rather sudden decision to close four coal-fired power stations within three years. “Eskom’s problem, of course, is that they now have a surplus of power with more to come when the new power stations are completed. It is impossible to justify a huge investment in Nuclear power in these circumstances” Ms Myburgh said.
She predicted more protests when the four power stations were closed down. “Eskom has brought this crisis on itself. All their planning seems designed to justify nuclear power, but their forecasts of future demand have proved to be hopelessly wrong and now they have been caught out by the low costs of renewables.
“What we need now is the full, unexpurgated Denton’s report so that those responsible can be prosecuted. There could be a lot of work for the Asset Forfeiture Unit,” Ms Myburgh said.