Eskom makes R3bn boo-boo

2011-03-27 18:42

Johannesburg - A comedy of errors has cost Eskom R3bn and severely compromised South Africa’s supply of electricity.

This has emerged after last month’s massive explosion at the Duvha power station outside ­Witbank, Mpumalanga.

The February 9 explosion ripped through one of the turbines at the power station, causing extensive damage to the station’s infrastructure and immediately removing 600MW from the country’s electricity supply. That amount can power a city the size of Bloemfontein during peak hours.

It has now emerged that human error or lack of personnel caused the explosion, as it happened ­during a routine check.

Eskom is investigating whether the control room at the station was unmanned when all its safety mechanisms failed during a maintenance test on February 9.
The fiasco was caused by a faulty bolt which was supposed to have slowed down the turning speed of the ­turbine once it started spinning 10% faster than it was designed to.

Out of control

This failed to happen and the ­turbine spun out of control. The ­shut-down mechanism in the maintenance room also did not work when maintenance engineer Piet Bester, who was conducting the tests at the time, tried to shut the turbine down.

It appears that there was nobody in the control room to activate the ­emergency mechanism, which would have shut down the turbine immediately.

Four seconds later the turbine exploded, sending metal shrapnel tearing through the 30m-high roof of the turbine hall.

A witness said that absolute ­chaos ensued. One man, who had been showering at the time, ran outside naked.

Amazingly, nobody was injured in the explosion, which took place after working hours.

None of the other six generator units in the same turbine hall of the power station was damaged.

“This incident has happened at the worst possible time,” said Mike Rossouw, chairperson of the ­Energy Intensive Users’ Group (EIUG), a coalition of big ­manufacturers.

He said Eskom had already ­indicated that the power reserve margin was dangerously low and that there was little room to ­conduct routine maintenance.

Reliability of national grid

Rossouw said the explosion could have an effect on the ­reliability of the national grid, ­because scheduled maintenance at other stations was being delayed now that 600MW of generational capacity had been lost.

“We are worried that such a thing could happen again,” said Dirk ­Herman of trade union Solidarity.

This showed that Eskom’s ­personnel network could not handle the immense pressure, he said.

“Eskom’s investigation into the incident must be broadened to ­include an audit of the state of the network and the state of Eskom staff,” he said.

Eskom’s spokesperson, Hillary Joffe, said that the incident was a ­timeous warning to all South Africans to ­reduce their electricity ­consumption.

Two weeks ago Eskom presented a plan to government on how to force consumers to save electricity and on the issuing of fines to those who transgressed, she said.

  • Daveza - 2011-03-27 18:51

    [Eskom’s spokesperson, Hillary Joffe, said that the incident was a ­timeous warning to all South Africans to ­reduce their electricity ­consumption.] Idiot! It's a timeous warning to pull your finger out and get competent people to maintain the national grid. Don't pass the blame for your incompetence onto the end user.

      heinerl - 2011-03-27 19:01

      Standard procedure in South Africa to blame the consumer.

      Hannes - 2011-03-27 19:05

      The 'management' of Eskom should be dragged out on the streets and shot. Thereby I might add that the term "management" is swung around extremely loosely these days in SA. What the writer so aptly describes as "a comedy of errors" is again a joke on us who pay tax. Anyway everyone in SA isn't complete ignorant of the workings of a turbine. There are governors that protect the spool from overspeed, not a fuc&^%ing bolt.

      Daveza - 2011-03-27 19:32

      Who is this Joffe woman ? Does she actually get paid to make such stupid comments ? If she worked for me she would already be looking for another job.

      Benny66 - 2011-03-27 19:33

      NO HANNES! It was definitely dat damn BOLT again! Wasn't it also that bloody agent BOLT that caused the problem at the Koeberg plant a year or two back?

      lakhan7 - 2011-03-27 20:25

      Dave, agreed. The engineers/people at ESKOM are incompetent.

      Ron - 2011-03-27 20:29

      Carry on with affirmative action, lets see where this country goes.

      Lawence - 2011-03-27 21:00

      It's a warning to all of ESKOM's rank incompetence

      Francois - 2011-03-27 21:04

      Daveza, let us see how many of Eskom's people get bonueses this year!

      Rowen - 2011-03-27 22:47

      I want to know who the control room operator is and whether he will fork out R3 billion rand in damages...and who the hell is actually running ESKOM?

      Richard - 2011-03-27 23:22

      To Hannes, it seems that the governors had been taken out of action so that the overspeed bolts could be tested. These bolts are the last overspeed protection, when the turbine reaches about 3300 rpm they shoot out and trip the valves. This is a standard test done many times before, but something went dreadfully wrong here. This unit will be out for about 18 months.

      Sedick - 2011-03-27 23:43

      "Eskom’s spokesperson, Hillary Joffe, said that the incident was a timeous warning to all South Africans to reduce their electricity consumption."....up yours Mr Joffe, you bunch of incompetents. You blow up a turbine, and use it as an excuse to warn us are right though, your incompetence is a warning to all of us to prepare for more blackouts.....

      Grazy - 2011-03-28 00:25

      @Richard. Well, if there are three protection curcuits, two must be bridged out to test a single one, BUT you have to stand with the bridge wires in you hand to rip it out if the "under test" safety curcuit fail to do the job. That was what my old training teached me. If it is a software bridge you stand ready with your finger on the "enter" button to download the correction of the bridge, plus a hardware bridge in your other hand. But, I probably had old good training, not a correspondence course with adjusted points to make it look good.

      Elaine - 2011-03-28 08:03

      And of course, who is going to pay for this 'comedy of errors'? It is a timeous warning that the price of electricity will go up to pay for their total stupidity and incompetence.It certainly won't come out of their bonuses!

      Michael - 2011-03-28 09:45

      So now that the power is stuffed, they will probably up the price of electricity and move on to stuffing up the mines too.

      jakkals - 2011-03-28 10:13

      she was taken out of context!!! ppffft... lol

      alison - 2011-03-28 11:44

      Maybe we should take Joffe's advice (regardless of her reasoning) and seriously cut down our usage. Afterall the more we use the more money they make. lets all try instead to find and invest in alternative energy. eskom needs some competition. I certainly am gatvol of having to depend on them

      REALIST - 2011-03-28 12:31

      Hillary Joffe, can you taste the K@K you're talking!? Do you really think we're as blatantly stupid as you are? You and all of the management in Eskom should be fired immediately - no pension - no payouts - this borders on the criminal and nothing would please me more than to see the people of this country join hands in a civil case against Eskom - all business, infrastructure and private groups should simply file a class action against your gross incompetence! I cannot believe the audacity of punting blame to the consumer - you irresponsible waste of oxygen!

      Mike - 2011-03-28 13:08

      Ag swaer - the 5% who contribute to S.A.'s coffers and the gravy train will foot the bill - not to worry! it's only 3k. How many million was spent on a party?

      Jaco - 2011-03-28 14:27

      WTF... is this woman smoking something??

      Badnews - 2011-03-28 17:23

      Get competency back into ESKOM, another Affirmative blunder, it will get worse before it will get even worse. Affirmative Action sent all competency out of ESKOM. And to think I was a loyal worker for 20 years. My loyalty is now to my family and my dogs, cats and chickens, they can run that idiotic bunch of imbeciles as long as they like, I got my own generator.

      Grazy - 2011-03-28 20:32

      Alison, here is the answer.

  • Heks - 2011-03-27 18:59

    Whatever the damn excuse is, the bottom line is that the consumer will pay more and more and more!

      Bratt - 2011-03-28 09:36

      the consumer will do no such. Time to invite the americans in.

      Freddie - 2011-03-28 09:55

      @Bratt, sadly our incompetents still believe they can manage and maintain infrastructure better than "the west". They have repeatedly shown that they are incometent and cannot maintain anything, but what can you do with incompetents that are so ignorant they don't even know they are useless. Once it all collapses they will have their scapegoat all ready to take the blame. But is will never be the AA ANC fools in charge. They know nothing about responsibility or consequences of actions, or inaction. When is the next 5 star junket overseas?

  • Mundu - 2011-03-27 18:59

    Gotta love Eshkom, they blame the consumer and threaten them when they cause a stuff up.

      50something - 2011-03-28 07:47

      Her comment was taken out of context. LOL

  • Thandi - 2011-03-27 19:01

    Yet another contributing factor in the slow but sure collapse of our infrastructure. Are these tossers in the ANCorruption not going to be satisfied until the last hope of elevating our status to that of a third world country has slipped away.

      Fanie - 2011-03-28 16:34

      I hope you mean first world

      hughfh - 2011-03-29 13:33

      Let's call it a Freudian slip if it wasn't deliberate but nevertheless it made me laugh Thandi!!

  • Shayne - 2011-03-27 19:02


  • GT - 2011-03-27 19:02

    Actually Hillary Joffe, it is a timely reminder that state enterprises are run by incompetents who respect the laws of Jummy Manyi more than the laws Isaac Newton

      50something - 2011-03-28 07:49

      Careful GT, she's not going to understand that - Isaac who - does he vote DA?

  • G0ldf!nger - 2011-03-27 19:03

    Eskom blows a turbine, and Joffe says the consumer must wake up. Proteas get kicked out of the World Cup, & Corrie says SA fans must wake up. Ministers take an entourage of 48 people, more than any other country, to New York for a jolling spree, and Nosiviwe's spokesperson says the media must wake up. Do you see a trend here? No? Wake up dammit!

      Valis - 2011-03-27 19:32


      Fanie - 2011-03-28 16:36

      hey woow....whats??? Okay awake now

      AverageJack - 2011-03-29 10:28

      Sure the taxpayers will have to pick up the tab. But since the price of electricity influences the very cost of living (food, water, transport, any/all services) again the poorest will feel this the most – well done government, you’ve again succeeded in making the margin between rich and poor just a little bigger!

  • Zion - 2011-03-27 19:04

    See what happens when you leave/forget the bypassing bridge in position: Boom ( It is assumed the overspeed safety device was bridged out to allow the turbine to exceed the designed speed.)

      praxis - 2011-03-27 19:14

      How does this happen, please explain!

      Rowen - 2011-03-27 22:52

      incompetence! thats how

      Grazy - 2011-03-28 00:07

      Praxis I did explain it in detail, but my comment was removed after it was posted. Someone does not like it if someone who know the field hit the nail on the head. Basicly the Auto switch that should open in a danger situation was bypassed with a piece of wire, wich are. In the tech field we call that a bridge. The switch then can open, but it will have no effect, because it is "bridged out". Sometims we did that to keep a machine running, when the safety instrument is broken, but then you HAVE to have a opperator monitoring basicaly with his hand on the emergency stop, till you can replace or repair the safety instrument. Needless to say, you should be damn sure that you can safely do that, and that you can trust the opperator to be good and sharp enough to "pull the plug" if need be. You always have to keep in mind that people can get hurt or killed if you take a calculated risk like that, and you will not do it when the danger can in any way whatsoever be high.

      50something - 2011-03-28 08:29

      Grazy - so you are to be blamed for this, writing the book on how these things should be maintained. Physically bridging out a crucial control on an enormous turbine sounds to me like a very primative way of conducting a test. What I would like to know is what the method statement stipulated before they did this test, was it ever approved and did they follow it to the letter?

      croix - 2011-03-28 12:44

      No,no,no! - you guys just don't get it ........ do you realise that there is a couple of billion to be made out of replacing the bombed out turbine? 'Estimate' is now R3b - but by the time it's done it will have cost R9,5b - you guys must get with the program here.

      fwallrustitie - 2011-03-28 13:20

      @50 Something. General engineering requires multiple safety devices in place to ensure redundancy and backup in case a safety geature fails. You test each of these safety devices in turn to establish that they are in fact working. you can only check the next safety device in the series when the previous ones have been bypassed (bridging). Ultimately there is a final fail safe mechanism. This has to be tested with teh technician in FULL control of a manual saftey device, which should be a piece of wire in teh hands of the technician as previously detailed by grazy. If you have another way of testing multi billion rand equiment, apply to Eskom for a job.

      Mac - 2011-03-28 17:17

      @Zion - A turbine and generator set connected to the power grid can not exceed the speed of the grid of 50Hz (Power Cycle) the generators will run at 3000 rpm free governing machines will cycle slightly up and down in line with the frequency

      Grazy - 2011-03-28 20:15

      fwallrustitie, thanks man. I'm real up with that 50 something. He must be a penpusher boss. The type that drove me up the wall with their arrogance and made me start my own business, so in effect I should thank the arsehole.

      Grazy - 2011-03-29 08:24

      50 SOMETHING,I hope you read my answer to your arrogant stupid typical boss that know nothing comment before it was removed.. Now I'm to blame for this because you tipe are the same as the blame appartheid type. Go f yourself.

  • k1dbl4ck - 2011-03-27 19:09

    My uncle of 50 was had 30 years experience in large current electrical engineering. Eskom gave his job to some 28yo Tupac. And now Tupac just cost us 600MW. Thanks guy.

      corro51 - 2011-03-27 19:21

      You mean heavy current.

      chingon - 2011-03-27 22:13

      er............the name of the guy doing the test was Piet Bester(read the article) not a "Tupac".To perform this test he had to bypass 3 safety mechanisms, why did he do a test without verifying that there was someone manning the emergency cut out in the control room. You are all very quick to blame affirmative action.

      Grazy - 2011-03-27 23:01

      chignon To my knowlege of a previous article the test was done to determine if the protection curcuits work. None does, not even the emergency stop the Mr Bester try to stop the turbine with. That is even worse than the situation I explained on the above comment. EINA, nou worry ek eers. MAINTENANCE, MAINTENANCE, ATTETUDE, KNOWLEGE, RESPONSABILLITY, SHAME. If you have no shame you don't care if you are to lazy or dumb to do your job properly.

      Ray Romans - 2011-03-28 08:03

      Ironic that if you read Tupac backwards, it reads Caput! Just like that turbine.

      Mark - 2011-03-28 08:47

      Your uncle was 50 and had 30 years experience. When did he take time to study for his BEng degree, cos he would have been 20 when he started working as and "electrical engineer"?

      The Observer - 2011-03-28 10:02

      Mark. K@k comment. You can start working in the field as an junior engineer without having formal qualifications. He could have studied and worked at the same time, those 3 years also count as experiance. Stop trying to be clever.

      exocist - 2011-03-28 10:27

      why no photo of this made up piet bester i still bet you he's a tupac

  • praxis - 2011-03-27 19:10

    Sheer incompetence, and lack of management. If you don't manage it you can't monitor it. Its like the rest of government; simply not able to manage their way out of a paper packet.PATHETIC! now for the pathetic excuses!!

      Mpuma Fred - 2011-03-27 19:54

      you don;t know what you are talking about

      SimonP - 2011-03-27 19:57

      Mpuma, and you do know what you are talking about? Surely you are not defending this joffe woman blaming consumer consumption on Eskoms lack of maintenance.

      Great White - 2011-03-27 20:46

      Mpuma Fred, please justify your comments in some way or other. Rather remain silent and let people think you are ignorant, that open your mouth and confirm it. Praxis has a valid point. You, however, are a tappet.

      Mike - 2011-03-28 13:17

      @Great White - Methinks maybe a tappet cover - a tappet is useful to a degree!

      Fanie - 2011-03-28 16:40

      Tappet cover also useful...someone was born in the shallow end of the genepool..and someone else weed in it

      Badnews - 2011-03-28 17:33

      Mpuma is a qualified electrical engineer, don't argue with him, he saw all the control room operators on duty when the overspeed warning reverberated through the station. The only thing is he does not say where he saw them, most definitely not in the control room.

      Ching Ching - 2011-03-29 08:39

      Unfortunately you NEVER see any of these people in government-type jobs who stuff up or get caught out with their incompetence EVER take responsibility for their actions. It's always somebody else's fault.

      Kiewiet52 - 2011-03-29 09:33

      I don't want to use the correct word for Mpuma Fred,maybe people wil say I must wash out my mouth with chilli sauce. All I can say is,he is a "box"

  • SimonP - 2011-03-27 19:11

    Hold on! Eskom bust thier own equipment and its a wake up call to consumere? Wait for tomorrow when "I was quoted out of context" hits the airwavwes. truly pathetic result of cadre deployment.

  • Stefan - 2011-03-27 19:13

    Normal !!! Incompetent idiots !!

  • praxis - 2011-03-27 19:13

    Hilary Joffe; what type of remark is that, you moron.

  • Leeutjie - 2011-03-27 19:23

    Please read this link. It's pure incompetence that caused this. I work in the industry, used to work at Eskom with some friends still there. apparently they tried to cover it up but somehow leaked.

      Mikus - 2011-03-27 20:30

      i can think of 3 billion reasons why that happened

      Cheryl - 2011-03-27 21:18

      This is the second unit at Duvha to go bang. unit 2 went a couple of years ago and its been said its just time for the next one to blow. incompetence on the operation side.

  • SX137 - 2011-03-27 19:24

    Our great government has pursued 'Transformation at all costs' Well, know we know some of that cost - Direct R3bn and indirect cost due to power outages unknown.

      Paco7 - 2011-03-28 15:52

      this so called R3 billion was taken out of context, comrades

  • Andy49 - 2011-03-27 19:28

    suppose sabotage will again be the cause just like the Koeberg incident.

  • - 2011-03-27 19:31

    No no no! You cant use the bolt excuse again! Someone seems to have forgotten to cross that out the excuse book.

      Coffeeor Me - 2011-03-27 19:38, you are on the correct page, just who ever supplied the info in written form forgot how to cut and paste, so that is why we have the bolt re-occuring for an excuse, for the blow up.

  • exocist - 2011-03-27 19:32


      Mpuma Fred - 2011-03-27 19:55

      I don't know who is worse ant ranting you, julius Malema or steve hofmeyer.

      exocist - 2011-03-27 20:22


      Mikus - 2011-03-27 20:32

      if it walks like a duck......

      Mike - 2011-03-28 13:20

      @Mpuma - sure your name not mampara?

      Punani - 2011-03-28 14:29

      Why are you shouting?

  • Slapper - 2011-03-27 19:33

    Bloody typical. But never mind, the taxpayer will pay. When will we be shot of these incompetents?

      shaun.cousins1 - 2011-03-28 20:38

      what taxpayer....Its time the presently advantage start paying for their "brothers" Stuff ups

  • Gemini101 - 2011-03-27 19:34

    And you guys sit there on stand by waiting to jump in and help if and when they call for it. Why don't you leave for a country that respects your skills and tax and leave them to their own demise?

  • Matt - 2011-03-27 19:36

    Typical ANC voter. Useless!

  • Monica - 2011-03-27 19:41


  • steve - 2011-03-27 19:42

    What I am starting to realise is that it's dangerous to own property in Gauteng with the incompetence achieved by Eskom,Joburg billing and now the water fiasco, I would rather rent or leave for the Cape,gatvol!!!

      Lonwabo - 2011-03-28 17:08

      Yes I agree, because the DA provides power in the Cape tltltlttl!!

      Other Justin - 2011-03-29 13:25

      @Lonwabo - mamparra, he is not only talking about power, if you read the comment.

  • Coffeeor Me - 2011-03-27 19:45

    @Hannes, Your comment takes the cake! will it be possible to send a copy of you N6 electrical enigeneering book to Hillary Joffe, possibly we who know a thing or two will not be so embarrased. Thanks for the egg on your face!

  • Bill - 2011-03-27 19:47

    Children and fools should not play with sharp edged tools...and things that spin fast!

  • ian - 2011-03-27 19:49

    they want a total control of the manufacturer of electricity and wont alow anyone else in they sit prndering the pros and cons of other suppliers and delay the implenentation of private producers with loads of legistation to prevent it ALOW PRIVATE PRODUCERS WHO HAVE TO PRODUCE AT COMPETITIVE PRICES AND THEN WE WOULD NOT HAVE THIS PROBLEM the reason can only be that the vested interests in this country cant tak so no one gets its time to change the government that is alowing this contry to become part of DARKEST AFRICA

  • Ulrich - 2011-03-27 19:49

    Eish give tha 3bnR contract to Zumas friends an family. Osorry 10bnR contract.

  • ian - 2011-03-27 19:51

    Daveza well said i agree in a normal country he would be looking for a new job by now fat cats should be cages not paid, and the rest of the world laughs

  • Daveza - 2011-03-27 19:51

    Seriously, a faulty bolt caused 3 BILLION worth of damage ?? Let's see, if you steal some copper cable you get say 1 year behind bars. How long do you get for 3 BILLION due to negligence ? Probably a written warning.

      Lost 4 Words - 2011-03-28 08:39

      Or a promotion ,.,..

      jakkals - 2011-03-28 10:12

      it depends on the context in which you caused the damage.

  • Mpuma Fred - 2011-03-27 19:53

    I doubt very much that there was no ne in the control room. The nature of how the test gets done means that there are people in the control room - that is where the test is run from. All baseless speculation by people who want to paint Eskom in a bad light. And no I do not work for Eskom

      Vlooi - 2011-03-27 20:07

      We can see you do not work for Eskom, but thanks anyway

      SimonP - 2011-03-27 20:10

      If there was someone in the control room why was the emergency shut-off not activated smart arse? "Baseless speculation" the thing blew up and cost R3bn, how is that baseless? Im guessing you vote ANC. Am I right?

      gizzy - 2011-03-27 20:20

      Mpuma, you know jack so I'm sure you do work for eskom!!!

      Great White - 2011-03-27 20:50

      You don't work for Escom. No shit, Sherlock!

      Dave - 2011-03-27 20:50

      No one needs to paint Eskom in a bad light....they are doing a fine job of that themselves

      Cheryl - 2011-03-27 21:25

      news flash there was no one in the control room when the test was done.

      v3 - 2011-03-28 12:35

      You cannot paint Eskom in a bad light - the lights went out.

      alousav - 2011-03-28 13:20

      Mpuma - guess you are still going to vote ANC at the next elections? That's if this country has money left to be run by anyone.........

      Fanie - 2011-03-28 16:44

      Opperator guy was in the shower later to be found running around naked ROFLMAO

      Badnews - 2011-03-28 17:46

      Well boet Mpuma. you cannot possibly understand the complexities involved, Control Room personnel are notoriously useless in ESKOM, I worked there, so please don't talk through your &*(*&^^%^&*&, okay. That said, it was probably supper time when this happened, you see, it was after normal working hours, control rooms are to control, when someone is there to control!! Okay, you understand now, or should I leave my no. for you to call for a personal explanation. It would be worth it, believe me.

      Steven - 2011-03-29 12:15

      You must have been in the control room Mpuma and you're trying to cover your own ASS so we need to hear from you do you Think ESKOM is doing a good job or do you think they are in over their heads...........Or you could be a Sub Contractor waitig to benefit from the rebuild which one are you????????

      Other Justin - 2011-03-29 13:28

      I agree with you Mpuma Fred, these people fail to see what an EXCELLENTLY run utility we have here, absolutely WORLD CLASS! Well run, excellent management and always re-investing in power infrastructure and South Africa in general. I LOVE EISHKOM!

  • Realist - 2011-03-27 19:53

    Why don't we hear rather how many people were fired and when are their court cases coming up for gross neglegence for causing a national critical power asset unit up to R3,000,000,000 damages. Also has the dme suspended their certificates of competency until the findings have been made?

  • Johann - 2011-03-27 19:57

    BOO!!! BOO!!! ................skrik wakker ESKOM !!!

  • Varknek - 2011-03-27 19:58

    It is Apartheid's fault. Verwoerd apparently purposes made the science of electricity so difficult to understand.

      Paco7 - 2011-03-28 15:54

      daai vark

  • Macho Mike - 2011-03-27 19:59

    "Hello darkness my old friend, I see we have no power again, Because the vision of the ANC, Left me with no Elektricity, And the candle that was placed in my room, Still remains Within the sights of darkness"

      Great White - 2011-03-27 20:51

      Electrifying stuff. Good one Mike.

      Koos - 2011-03-28 07:46

      Brilliant & very well written. I like. - 2011-03-28 15:08

      Love your work !

  • - 2011-03-27 19:59

    Hilary Joffe is a half wit. Eskom must generate more electricity - not the consumer to cut.

  • steve - 2011-03-27 20:00

    Surely with such costly equipment they would have a camera in the control room monitoring staff.

      Mike - 2011-03-28 13:22

      Should have

      Paco7 - 2011-03-28 15:56

      there is a camera but no batteries,eish

      Badnews - 2011-03-28 17:56

      To do what?? No person in sight, why waste more money. The 3 monkey sindrome, talk no evil, see..............., what more can I say?

  • lize.lubbe - 2011-03-27 20:00

    boo-boo = small mistake. This is not a boo-boo.

  • Daveza - 2011-03-27 20:07 The full story - with photos.

      Dave - 2011-03-27 20:33

      Well, those pictures certainly put everything into perspective dont they? so where was the guy that was supposed to have his finger on the trigger....the one having the shower?

      croix - 2011-03-28 09:06

      Wow! Those photos say it all! Just a "tiny little oopsie", all in a day's work, I suppose. What takes almost 2 years to build & install, is destroyed in 10 seconds!??

  • nonamejv - 2011-03-27 20:09

    "Eskom’s spokesperson, Hillary Joffe, said that the incident was a ­timeous warning to all South Africans to ­reduce their electricity ­consumption." I think ,that this incident was a timeous warning to all South African to start employed qualified people on the qualified positions.

  • Beam me up - 2011-03-27 20:14

    I am sure the board of Eskom are laughing at how much the consumers are going to pay for their errors, again.

  • Xram62 - 2011-03-27 20:20

    What did South Africans use before candles and open fires? YES!! ELECTRICITY!!!

  • BCTB - 2011-03-27 20:25

    Dum cow for saying something totally out of context. It can only be our very corrupt Eskom / Government to again blame the end userfor their total FUCK#$%^UPS. Please replace these totally incompetent idiots and management and get trained people to make a difference and get our country back on track.While we allow poephols like these to run our countrys infrastructure, the more we will be moving back to darkest Africa.We will be passing Zimbabwe soon. REGARDS - SOUTHAFRICANBUDDY

      Enigma - 2011-03-29 10:51

      The "incompetant idiots and management" will have to be replaced not only by trained people but by EXPERIENCED PEOPLE, many who have been laid off by Eskom and mines in the last few years. A lot of expertise, experience and knowledge have been lost due to so-called equity appointments being made but who have just not delivered the desired results. When are we going to realise that people should be promoted on merit and ability to produce results and not to make the management photo's look good in the newspapers.

  • Witrot - 2011-03-27 20:28

    Decrease salaries and give a black and white man the same can teach the other and we have a standby...them can we get on with life and equality..

      Witrot - 2011-03-27 20:30

      Not saying this has anything to do with competence....revering to comments read..

      Beam me up - 2011-03-27 21:08

      We have that is called Affirmative Action, just does not work at all.

  • Deset Rat - 2011-03-27 20:47

    Must I be surprized? Could I be wrong in assuming, that the top guys in the failing parastatal are receiving paronage from the ruling party. Connections (excuse the pun) is the order of the day.

  • Leeutjie - 2011-03-27 20:52

    We do this type of checks every 2nd year after a shutdown and come to think of it, if this turbine really ran from 3000rpm to 4500 in 10 seconds the would have been no way to stop it. There is just not enough time to react. We will probably never know but i have heard through the grapevine, they stood there watching while this machine ran higher and higher untill it self distuct.If that indeed happened, they are really stupid, if it was instant(10 sec) then it's a different story, it means the control valve flew 100% open and that should not happen. Like i said, we will never know but we will pay for it.

      Grazy - 2011-03-27 23:11

      Leeutjie. Sound right. That turbine is not a lightweight and 10 sec for 1500 revs is rough. I believe that there should be a rampup controll on theat valve, so even that was brighed. ???? Fact is to me is an C&I tech that f%^n everything was bridged on that thing except the start button.

      50something - 2011-03-28 08:39

      Leeutjie, Grazy - you guys seem to know how these things work, how about doing some investigative journalism via you contacts and let us people "in the dark" know what really happened. Chances are we'll never get the truth out of ESCOM.

      Grazy - 2011-03-29 08:28

      50 something you should have realise you are "in the dark" before you made that childish boss like comment to me before. Again I say that I hope you have read my previous comment before it was removed penpusher.

  • Dave - 2011-03-27 20:52

    We have probably had 50 power outages in the last week alone here.....didnt need to switch off for earth hour, Eskom did that for me. Would love to shove Joffe's fingers on a socket...if the power ever worked

  • Will - 2011-03-27 20:53

    Hillary don't make Eskom's lack of competent management and adequate traioning and procedures the consumers problem.!!!!!!! William. (an engineer from the past)See Daveza's comments which is less forgiving than mine

  • Nostrilite - 2011-03-27 20:53

    And my TAX money pays for Hillary Joffe's salary. I would rather burn my money in the street.

  • croix - 2011-03-27 20:58

    I see the 'fu@*up fairy is working hand-in-hand with Escom's best! Miss Hillary - are you that fairy? Heaven save us when another 'fawlty bolt' does its own thing at Koeberg! Blame the end user? The consumers are in fact supposed to keep Escom in power (excuse the deliberate pun) and pay the exhorbitant salary bill. If we reduce our consumption of power, and thus pay less, how will you manage? Oh well, you can always get bigger loans.....

  • eugenebriel - 2011-03-27 21:00

    Just a little preventative maintenance could have prevented this from happening. But the maintenance teams were to busy with their usual F#$%&^&%$ strikes again, or "if it is not broken don't touch it, we will fix it when it breaks" mentality.