4 Eskom power plants have less than 10 days worth of coal left, according to Fin24.
The problem is that they are supposed to be being supplied by Tegeta Exploration and Resources, which is both linked to the Guptas and under business rescue.
In August of 2017, Tegeta claimed to have sold its Optimum Coal Mine to Switzerland’s Charles King. The sale was supposed to have gone through this year.
However the deal hit a major snag when the deal was cancelled by the business rescue team that was trying to save Tegeta.
According to News24, the business rescue practitioners wanted the mine to be sold to a local company instead.
About ten months ago EWN reported that Tegeta was threatening to cut supplies to Eskom in order to strong-arm the utility into paying more for coal.
Tegeta was also apparently not meeting its obligations regarding supply back then.
Eskom had plenty of warning that Tegeta was going to be unreliable, the fact that it is under business rescue is not new news, so in real terms there isn’t much excuse for these supply issues coming up now.
Or at least there isn’t except that there are a thousand and one other issues going on there right now. Eskom was one of the major State Owned Enterprises noted for being captured, and the clean up for that isn’t going to be easy.
It is going to require deep systemic change in order to prevent a repeat of the whole mess happening again, and that change is going to bring a measure of chaos.
Hopefully that is what we’re seeing right now, and not just rank incompetence.