Upgrades a necessity, says Eskom

Comment on this story
IOL pic apr15 eskom power cables Independent Newspapers File picture: Dumisani Sibeko

Johannesburg - Eskom on Sunday defended its proposed upgrades to Megawatt Park, its head office in Johannesburg, as a necessity despite the utility being under financial constraints.

“This are essential, they aren't lavish upgrades,” spokesman Andrew Etzinger told Sapa.

He said the upgrades were necessary for the health and safety of staff, data security and the improvement of energy efficiency.

The Sunday Times reported that the upgrades would cost the power utility R500 million. Etzinger, however, could not confirm the costs. He said there was no trade off between the health and wellness of staff and investments.

“Various components are in the process of going to tender but we can't preempt the costs,” he said.

The Sunday Times reported that R3 million was earmarked for a VIP entrance and offices, plus R608 000 for curtaining. Landscaping would cost R1.4 million. The upgrades would also include an emergency generator installed at a cost of R8.5 million and a uninterrupted power supply systems for R6.7 million.

Another R81 million would be spent on airconditioning, heating and ventilation, the paper reported.

Etzinger said the proposed upgrades were to bring the building in line with energy consumption standards in the country.

The Democratic Alliance said it would write to the chairperson on the Standing Committee on Public Accounts, Themba Godi, demanding Eskom executives urgently be summoned to Parliament over the proposed upgrade.

DA spokeswoman Natasha Michaels said the DA could not stand by while the South African public was forced to foot the bill for the “mother of all extreme make-overs” .

“To add insult to injury, it is the South African public who will feel the brunt of load-shedding in the winter months ahead,” she said in a statement.

“This comes as the embattled Eskom not only struggles to provide tens of thousands of South African homes with power due to delayed construction at Medupi and Kusile power stations, but also seeks a government “equity injection” of R50 billion to ease its cash-flow problems.”

Michaels said the focus of Eskom executives should be in preventing rolling blackouts, especially over the next few months, instead of seeking to maximise creature comforts at the utility.

“South Africans deserve and demand better service. Eskom executives must be compelled to appear before Parliament so they may account for these ludicrous upgrades and explain what measures have been put in place to prevent blackouts,” she said.


sign up

Comment Guidelines

  1. Please read our comment guidelines.
  2. Login and register, if you haven’ t already.
  3. Write your comment in the block below and click (Post As)
  4. Has a comment offended you? Hover your mouse over the comment and wait until a small triangle appears on the right-hand side. Click triangle () and select "Flag as inappropriate". Our moderators will take action if need be.

  5. Verified email addresses: All users on Independent Media news sites are now required to have a verified email address before being allowed to comment on articles. You are only required to verify your email address once to have full access to commenting on articles. For more information please read our comment guidelines