VF Plus vra OB om 'n volledige ondersoek en oudit te doen oor Eskom se vermoë

2014-12-11
Adv Anton Alberts

Dis ‘n skande dat Eskom nie onafhanklik geoudit word of geoudit sal word om vas te stel of die kragopwekkings- en verspreidings-infrastruktuur op standaard is nie.

So sê adv. Anton Alberts, die VF Plus se parlementêre woordvoerder oor openbare ondernemings, na aanleiding van ‘n geskrewe parlementêre antwoord deur die minister van openbare ondernemings, Lynne Brown, waarin sy die erkenning maak.

Adv. Alberts sê die feit dat die minister dink Eskom kan vertrou word om steeds sy eie onderhoud-oudits te doen, is baie naïef.

“ʼn Mens wonder op watter planeet die ANC leef en of hulle die erns van Suid-Afrika se kragkrisis besef? Die ontploffing by die Duvha-kragstasie en die ineenstorting van die silo by die Majuba-kragstasie met die daaropvolgende beurtkrag is immers bewys dat daar ernstige fout in Eskom is.

“Hierdie indruk word verder benadruk deur die feit dat die minister nie na behore kon antwoord oor wat die impak van die Duvha- en Majuba-voorvalle op die land se ekonomie is nie,” sê adv. Alberts.

Hy sê die probleme by Eskom het onteenseglik ‘n lang geskiedenis van gebrekkige beplanning en onderhoud en dit is duidelik dat die ANC en Eskom nie meer vertrou kan word om die kwessie self op te los nie.

Daarom het die VF Plus die OB nou genader om Eskom as volg omvattend te ondersoek:

1. ‘n Oudit moet gedoen word rakende die status van alle energieskeppende en verspreidende infrastruktuur asook die vertragings rondom Medupi en Kusile;

2. ‘n Ondersoek moet gedoen word na die standaard en haalbaarheid van alle onderhouds- en toekomsplanne en of dit korrek uitgevoer word – per kragstasie, verspreidings-infrastruktuur en holisties;

3. ‘n Ondersoek moet gedoen word na die opleiding- en ervaringsvlakke van alle sleutelaanstellings – uitvoerend en tegnies – wat die bestuur van alle kragstasies en verspreidings-infrastruktuur betref;

4. ‘n Ondersoek moet gedoen word na alle verskaffers (insluitende SEB-verskaffers) van steenkool, diesel en ander kritieke insette vir kragopwekking en verspreiding wat die effektiewe funksionering van Eskom negatief beïnvloed, byvoorbeeld onbillike pryse, swak steenkoolgraad, nat steenkool, onnodige kapitaaluitgawes om SEB-vennote te akkommodeer ens.

5. ‘n Ondersoek na die moontlikheid in terme van die Grondwet, bestaande wetgewing en regspraak om roekelose senior en uitvoerende amptenare en politici persoonlik verantwoordelik te hou vir die skade gely deur besighede en individue. Die deur vir amptenare se persoonlike aanspreeklikheid is alreeds op ‘n skrefie oopgelaat in die onlangse hofsaak Mogale City Municipality v Fidelity Security Services (Pty) Ltd and Others (572-2013) 2014 ZASCA 172.

Kontaknommers: 082 391 3117 / 083 419 5403

 

Vrae en antwoorde:

DEPARTMENT: PUBLIC ENTERPRISES

REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA

NATIONAL ASSEMBLY

QUESTION FOR WRITTEN REPLY

QUESTION No: 2795

DATE OF PUBLICATION: 14 November 2014

Adv A de W Alberts (FF Plus) to ask the Minister of Public Enterprises:

(1) Whether an independent audit of the status of all of Eskom’s power generation and distribution infrastructure has been done; if not, (a) why not and (b) whether an independent audit will be done; if so, (i) when did the last audit take place and (ii) what were the findings on
Eskom’s infrastructure;

(2) whether there will be an investigation into why (a) maintenance is deficient and leads to incidents, such as a kettle exploding at the Duvha power station and the implosion of the coal silo at the Majuba power station and (b) infrastructure is not (i) improved or (ii) replaced timeously; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details;

(3) whether the executive officers and other decision-makers in charge of Eskom on a national level as well as at the respective power stations and in the distribution infrastructure have the training and experience needed to see to it that electricity supply in South Africa will take place effectively and without interruption;

(4) what was the separate and cumulative extent of the damage to the South African economy caused by the (a) explosion of the kettle at the Duvha power station and (b) implosion of the coal silo at the Majuba power station? NW3450E

REPLY:

(1) No independent audits of the status of all generation and distribution assets have been conducted or are planned.

Eskom has adopted some of the best international methods and approaches to assess and manage risk. The state of Eskom’s infrastructure is continually monitored, improved, and replaced based on technical and resource requirements and constraints. Eskom has sufficient infrastructure audit mechanisms on which it places reliance for monitoring the state of its infrastructure. For the generation assets, Eskom holds an engineering risk assessment process (ERAP) license which it adopted from the Rheinisch-Westfälisches Elektrizitätswerk (RWE), an electricity utility in Europe. With regards to Distribution, Eskom conducts infrastructure audits regularly during the financial year. The mechanisms in place have proven effective to date, and this is borne by the performance on the Distribution System Average Interruption Duration Index (SAIDI), which has improved over 30% over the past six years.

(2) The status and effectiveness of maintenance in Eskom are continually monitored, and Eskom has proactively communicated that improvements in the effectiveness of the maintenance are required. Programmes to address the effectiveness of maintenance and enhance the sustainability of the generating assets have been implemented.

Since the FIFA World Cup in 2010 maintenance outages on a number of units have been deferred (unless statutory or safety requirements have indicated otherwise), to reduce the risk of load-shedding. Eskom has a technical governance process to ensure that essential statutory and safety related outages are performed timeously. The investigation into the Duvha Unit 3 boiler incident has been concluded and a common cause report prepared. The report is being finalised through Eskom’s governance processes. Further information will be shared as soon as it is possible to do so. The Majuba silo incident investigation has commenced.

(3) Yes, all the incumbents have the required qualifications and experience. Each functional position in Eskom has minimum requirements for both qualifications and experience. Electricity supply in South Africa is a factor of the margin between capacity and demand, which is currently small. Therefore the risk of supply interruptions will remain high until significant additional capacity has come on-line.

(4) It is not possible to ascribe the direct and indirect economic costs of electricity supply disruptions to the Duvha and Majuba events due to the underlying electricity constraints on the national grid. South Africa has a constrained electricity supply system where the margin between supply and demand is tight. In a tight system, the impact of any technical problem is magnified. However, had there been an adequate reserve margin in place, on their own, disruptions such as those of Dhuvha and Majuba would not have caused major disruption in the power system.

It should be noted that in the attempt to balance supply and demand, load shedding is the last resort, and even then, the load shedding profiles take into account possible impact on the economy. There is concerted and long-standing effort to install additional capacity through
Eskom’s new build programme, independent power producers, the use of open cycle gas turbines, and initiatives to encourage energy efficiency. Until additional capacity comes on line, the system will remain very tight.