An article from MyBroadband quotes: “As the power system teetered on the brink of collapse in January, Eskom chief executive Tshediso Matona stated the obvious: “We have arrived at a point that does not allow us to ignore the health of our plants”. He told us how the utility would do more maintenance than ever before, with the not-so-thinly-veiled implication that previous chief executive Brian Dames and his executive team sat around playing solitaire and did the absolute bare minimum maintenance in the nearly four-year period Dames was in charge. Said Matona: “If we did not decide to keep the lights on during the World Cup, South Africa would not have been where it is today.” The problem, of course, is that the World Cup was a two-month period right at the start of Dames’s tenure. I don’t know Dames, nor have I spoken to him since the announcement of his resignation in December 2013, but those decisions to run the plants long and hard over 2010 would’ve been made before he arrived (and likely in the corridors of Cabinet or The Presidency or Luthuli House). In fact, during the winters of 2012 and 2013, Eskom did planned maintenance right up to the coldest months (June/July). The severity of the decision to “keep the lights on” during 2010 was clear two years later (not now!). By then, Eskom was running its planned maintenance at 12% (around 5 000 MW, on average) – a level we simply hadn’t seen before. And it is unlikely to be seen this year…..”