Government’s proposal to split Eskom may result in protests, blackouts

Eskom says 3 of its power plants have below 10 days of coal stockpiles.
City Power contractors sit in a small underground workspace in Johannesburg, South Africa as they wait to pull through new power cabling as it is fed through to them from an above ground site on September 8, 2017. – Tunnels coursing through the bowels of the earth under the city of Johannesburg contain precious treasure — copper cables that are being stripped out and smuggled as far away as Asia. As in many other parts of the world, copper cable theft is not new in South Africa, but lately it has reached an unprecedented scale. (Photo by TADEU ANDRE / AFP)

1SThe National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA) say it will strike over a proposal to split up struggling state power firm Eskom.

NUMSA believes the restructuring will lead to massive job losses.

Experts hired by President Cyril Ramaphosa to help revive Eskom have proposed splitting it into three state-owned entities responsible for power generation, distribution and transmission to make it more efficient

That proposal, as well as steps to reduce the ailing utility’s 420 billion rand ($32 billion) debt burden, are being discussed at a cabinet meeting on Thursday.

Meanwhile, South Africa’s ESKOM says 3 of its power plants have below 10 days of coal stockpiles. This puts the plants at risk of outages and increase the risk of power blackouts in the country

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Analysts say separating Eskom into different units should improve the performance of South Africa’s electricity supply industry, if accompanied by greater competition in power generation and distribution.

They also believe It could also spur greater investment in the power sector.

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