South Africa’s electricity sector is in trouble, and has been for some time. There are days when the supply available to meet peak demand is less than the capacity of a single large generation unit available to Eskom, which means margins for error let alone reserve margins are non-existent. This is in spite of the fact that Eskom is running peaking open cycle gas turbines at an estimated cost of R2.50/kWh for extended periods, plants which are viable economically only if run for less than 5% of the time.

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