Eskom silo collapse was unexpected – Matona

2014-11-07 18:12

An investigation is under way into the collapse of a coal storage silo at the Majuba power station in Mpumalanga, says Eskom.

“Until we know the full facts with certainty, it serves no purpose to speculate,” Eskom CEO Tshediso Matona told reporters in Johannesburg today.

Silo 20, which held more than 10 000 tons of coal, collapsed on Saturday, affecting coal supplies to all six units at the power station.

“The recovery team, which consists of engineering and technical experts, is already working to find the cause of the collapse,” said Matona.

Eskom group executives Steven Lenton, Thava Govender, Mongezi Nsokolo, Matshela Koko, and Dan Marokane were also at the briefing.

Marokane, who was promoted from acting group executive this week, would lead the team.

Matona described the collapse as “an unexpected event” which was “dire at the time”, but said the power utility’s speedy response resulted in power cuts around the country being limited to Sunday.

Govender said the investigation was expected to take three to six months.

Currently, mobile feeders were being used to get coal into the station.

The main priority was to bring the power station back to full capacity and make it safe to work in.

Eskom was looking at more permanent solutions to protect its infrastructure and prevent power cuts, such developing an inspection plan, which would be used monitor the condition of the site.

Koko gave assurances that coal storage silos at power stations in the rest of the country were not at risk of collapse.

He disputed claims that the use of wet coal at Majuba had caused the silo’s collapse and said there was no indication that it was about to fail. When it was inspected in September last year there were no problems.

“The investigation will identify the cause of the incident, but it appears it was an isolated incident which was specific to coal structures at Majuba.”

The cost of the investigation would be announced once it was completed.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.