Power play

Eskom’s credibility and honesty is in question because of a letter distributed by Koeberg power station manager Riedewaan Bakardien, which contained information contradicting Eskom’s argument in its appeal against a Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) judgment.

Eskom appealed to the Constitutional Court to overturn an SCA judgment that ordered the utility to re-do a R5 billion deal it struck to replace six aging steam generators.

The appeal rested on the argument that the steam generators had to be replaced as a matter of urgency during Eskom’s 2018 maintenance and refuelling outage. But the Bakardien letter contradicts this, revealing that the replacement of the steam generators was not included for the 2018 maintenance outage. This pretty much blows Eskom’s appeal against the SCA judgment out of the water.

Eskom suspended Mr Bakardien, claiming his letter contained “unauthorised facts and assumptions”, but this smacks of a desperate attempt by Eskom at damage control.

Whether Eskom has simply suspended Mr Barkardien to rescue the appeal is a question on the minds of many, and it does little for the parastatal’s public image, coming as it does on top of its decision to turn its back on further deals with independent clean-energy producers, while continuing to stoke its foul love affair with coal and entertaining the prospect of a treasury bleeding nuclear build programme.