"Open the grid before Eskom finally collapses”

Independent energy expert Ted Blom, who has just been confirmed as a featured speaker for the upcoming African Utility Week and POWERGEN Africa, says the country’s power grid “should be opened before Eskom finally collapses".

The 19th edition of this award-winning conference and exhibition is taking place in Cape Town from 14-16 May. Some 10,000 power, energy and water professionals from 81 countries, including more than 300 expert speakers, are expected to gather in the Mother City to discuss industry challenges, success stories and new technologies.

South African Minister of Energy, Hon Jeff Radebe, and Eskom Chief Executive Phakamani Hadebe will deliver keynote addresses during the opening session at the CTICC on Tuesday 14 May.

“Corruption still on-going at Eskom”
Energy expert Ted Blom, who has been very critical of the management of the national utility Eskom, is part of a panel discussion on utility reform during the conference at African Utility Week and POWERGEN Africa. “I will be highlighting the fact that corruption is still on-going at Eskom,” says Ted Blom, “and launching a drive to ensure that a full forensic investigation takes place to stop corruption at Eskom. Unfortunately, the current commission of inquiry is not highlighting the numbers involved in past and current corruption. I will also advocate the opening up of the grid before Eskom finally collapses.”  

He continues: “Eskom's financial situation is beyond precarious. Effectively Eskom is in business rescue, but for political reasons, this is being called by a different name to avoid a run on the fiscus that has guaranteed Eskom's debt. Inflows from China, previously stated as Eskom's salvation have also stopped. This has led to Treasury's emergency R7bn bailout to enable Eskom to pay creditors/salaries. I do not expect the situation to improve. Eskom has not implemented any remedial action to address over-staffing or coal corruption or the impact of expensive renewables which will suck R50bn from Eskom's revenues this year.”

The rest of the interview with Ted Blom can be viewed here.

Free expo and workshops
Access to the exhibition at African Utility Week and POWERGEN Africa is free and features more than 350 exhibitors and a Knowledge Hub with free-to-attend demonstrations and workshops. Industry experts will present practical solutions for large power and water users and industries.

The programme has been extensively researched with utilities and municipalities across Africa and will provide practical experience and knowledge to the industry on topics including finance and investment, thermal generation, renewables, transmission & distribution, smart tech, revenue cycle management and metering as well as water.

The programme for 2019 follows the industry trend of connecting the full value chain, so content is not siloed by industry and reflects the many disciplines required for a modern, smart power industry:

  • The Future Cities conference will look at Africa’s current urban living challenges and ask what is needed for the cities of tomorrow and who will be leading the way?
  • Learn about the finance and investment trends and forecasts for Africa’s power infrastructure in the Power Strategy Development conference, tailored to utilities and companies with an interest in finance and investment as well as generation options.
  • The Smart Energy conference will combine metering-based topics with the latest smart grid solutions to equip the sectors leaders and innovators.
  • Energy Revolution Africa provides a dynamic meeting place for solution providers, consultants, renewable energy producers and the African and global energy minds to develop alternative solutions towards the acceleration of Africa’s sustainable electrification.
  • The Water conference will bring together experts from public and private sectors to support municipalities as they become more responsive and efficient in their practices.

International pavilions
Apart from the official US country pavilion at African Utility Week and POWERGEN Africa showcasing specialised technology and services for the utility, metering, renewable and water industries, country pavilions from Brazil, Canada, China, Denmark, France, Germany, India and Poland have also already confirmed their presence at the 3-day event in May.

A multi-award-winning conference and exhibition, African Utility Week and POWERGEN Africa has secured the support from industry stalwarts including Conlog, Dromex, GE, Landis+Gyr, SAP, Sumitomo and Utility Systems as platinum sponsors and Aberdare, ADC Energy, Rosatom, Sulzer and Toshiba as gold sponsors.

African Utility Week and POWERGEN Africa is the flagship energy event organised by Spintelligent, a multi-award-winning Cape Town-based exhibition and conference producer across the continent in the energy, infrastructure, mining and agriculture sectors. Other well-known events by Spintelligent include Future Energy East Africa, Future Energy Nigeria, the Utility CEO Forums, Nigeria Mining Week and DRC Mining Week. Spintelligent is part of the UK-based Clarion Events Group and African Utility Week and POWERGEN Africa form part of Clarion Energy, which runs over 40 events that cover the oil, gas, power and energy sectors, making it one of Clarion Events’ largest portfolios.

Dates for African Utility Week and POWERGEN Africa:
Conference and expo: 14-16 May 2019
Site visits: 17 May 2019
Location: CTICC, Cape Town, South Africa

Website: http://www.african-utility-week.com  
Twitter: https://twitter.com/AfricaUtilities    #AUW2019   #PGAF2019
Linkedin: African Utility Week

Contact:
Senior communications manager:  Annemarie Roodbol
Telephone:  +27 21 700 3558
Mobile:  +27 82 562 7844
Email:  annemarie.roodbol@spintelligent.com