Dames: Too soon to point fingers

The Eskom CEO says a probe is underway to determine who fed wet coal into the Kendal power station.

Eskom CEO Brian Dames. Picture:Sapa.

JOHANNESBURG - It's too soon to say who's to blame for wet coal being fed into the Kendal power station, Eskom CEO Brian Dames said on Thursday.

That incident resulted in nationwide load shedding for the first time in six years.

Dames met with Business Unity South Africa (Busa) on Thursday afternoon to discuss the situation with the electricity grid.

The parastatal maintains it had to introduce the blackouts because mining houses were supplying them with wet coal due to weeks of heavy rain.

Dames said the power utility launched a full investigation into why wet coal was supplied to the station.

"I didn't only check with the management team at the Kendal power station, I checked with the next level as well. I think we should wait for the outcome of the investigation."

The CEO says the power problem requires everyone to come together.

"What is very clear is that there is not one silver bullet for all of this. It is possible for this country to have a sustainable energy system within this constrained environment."

Meanwhile, Busa says it's time for South Africans to get out of their comfort zones and have hard discussions on how to fund Eskom.

Dames announced his resignation in December after serving just over three years at the helm.

He is scheduled to l eave the utility at the end of this month.

The CEO's successor has not yet been appointed.