Date: Dec 6, 2018

Eskom has denied claims from the Middelburg Chamber of Commerce and Industry that it is refusing to collect coal it procured, as well as the link between load shedding and coal shortages.

Procurement of coal has been a significant challenge for the power utility, which has lost millions through suppliers such as Tegeta. Eskom says the latter under-delivered on its commitment to supply Eskom coal power stations.

On Wednesday, the Witness reported that Anna Marth Ott, CEO of Middelburg Chamber of Commerce and Industry, told the regional paper there was no shortage of coal and that coal was “piling up” suppliers’ mines, “uncollected by the utility”.

Eskom spokesperson Khulu Phasiwe told Fin24 claims that Eskom opted for load shedding over a coal shortage were either false, or the consequence of a big misunderstanding.

“One of the things that is wrong about this is the claim that we said the coal shortage is why we have load shedding.

“While we do have coal shortage, that is not a direct cause of our load shedding. Load shedding is happening because of technical challenges,” said Phasiwe.

Phasiwe said the latest instances of load shedding occurred because 16 000MW became unavailable due to unplanned outages. He said there were more unplanned outages than planned outages.

‘Can’t buy coal just because we need it’

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