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Eskom-Gupta dealings blamed for coal shortage at 6 power stations

National Treasury has also approved a request to obtain additional coal from elsewhere as three of the affected stations were receiving stock from Gupta-owned Tegeta.

FILE: Eskom's Megawatt Park offices in Sunninghill. Picture: EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Eskom's corrupt dealings with the Guptas have been blamed for the current coal shortage at six power stations in the country.

The parastatal insists it is not at an emergency level yet and that everything is being done to avoid load shedding.

National Treasury has also approved a request to obtain additional coal from elsewhere as three of the affected stations were receiving stock from Gupta-owned Tegeta that has now filed for business rescue.

Leaked emails revealed last year that Eskom allegedly paid Gupta-owned Tegeta over half a billion rand to buy the Optimum Coal Mine in a calculated scheme which lifted the lid on corruption at the power utility.

Now it appears that Tegeta is battling to supply coal and Eskom is experiencing serious shortages at six of its power stations with concerns being raised about the possibility of load shedding.

Deputy editor at Financial Mail Sikonathi Mantshantsha says corruption is at the centre of the current shortage.

“Because of the corruption that allowed Eskom to kick out Glencore in the first place. Tegeta has a contract and that contract is to pick up coal and deliver it to Eskom and it has failed to do that.”

Energy expert Chris Yelland says cutting back on capital expenditure is also to blame.

“Cutting back on capital expenditure, they have forced these mines to reduce production.”

Eskom says it's not denying that there are coal shortages but says it's addressing the issue by diverting excess coal supplies to power stations that are running low.

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