Despite government assurances that that electricity is improving, a group of international experts warned the government five months ago that South Africa was at risk of losing more than 13 000 megawatts of generation capacity ̶   equal to 13 stages of load-shedding ̶   at three power stations, due to the poor condition of water treatment plants.

According to News24, the warning is contained in a report dating to last September, based on an assessment of South Africa’s power generation undertaken under the stewardship of VGBE.

VGBE is described as a globally recognised industry standards body situated in Germany, and including experts from companies with decades of experience in the power industry.

The 600-page report, commissioned by National Treasury, finds that Eskom’s management structure is ‘dysfunctional’, mired in red tape and afflicted by a lack of accountability.

The report focuses particular attention on deficient water treatment plants at Medupi, Matimba and Kendal power stations.

News24 reports that the experts say the only solution is to take these power plants offline for extended periods and fix the problems properly, a move that will result in major increases in load shedding levels.

Though this course of action would likely be unpopular in an election year, the maintenance is urgently needed to save the country from future calamity.

News24 notes that little explanation has been offered for why the report and its contents have not been published before.