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Thread: Eskom sued for millions over lamp ‘lies’

  1. #1
    Gold Member IMHO's Avatar
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    Eskom sued for millions over lamp ‘lies’

    What is our resident experts thoughts on this?

    Johannesburg - A lighting firm has taken Eskom to the Competition Commission and is suing the parastatal.

    A complaint has also been referred to the public protector by the Department of Public Enterprises regarding potential wasteful expenditure by Eskom of hundreds of millions of taxpayers’ money.

    Magnitech is the sole distributor of the Japanese brand EYE xenon-sodium lamps, a product Eskom has been using in its power stations for more than 20 years.

    In 2008, Eskom put out official bid documents through its procurement subsidiary, Roshcon, requesting a quotation for the lighting at the Medupi power station. In the RFQ (request for quotation), there was a paragraph about the xenon-sodium lamps that Magnitech says denigrated the product by lying about its work life, effectively excluding it from competing for the xenon sodiums tender.

    The paragraph reduced the manufacturer’s certification of 24 000 hours of useful life of the xenon lamp by a third to 16 000 hours, and more than doubled its lumen depreciation factor (the measurement by which light output is measured).

    “This statement was disseminated to almost the entire electrical consulting, engineering and contracting base in SA,” Magnitech said in its complaint to the Competition Commission.

    “This false statement effectively made the lamp completely uncompetitive in relation to standard high-pressure sodium lamps known to the market.”

    Magnitech’s managing director, Howard Page, said the offending paragraph had also led to a dramatic decrease in the sale of the xenon-sodium lamps, which he said were among the most energy-efficient lights for industrial and mining purposes.

    Eskom then tasked Roshcon to take down and destroy all the tens of thousands of xenon lamps that were used by most of the existing Eskom power stations and replace them with much less energy-efficient metal-halide lamps under the guise of increased energy efficiency, Page claims.

    He said 110w xenon sodium lamps were over 60 percent more energy-efficient than the 70W metal-halide lamps with which Eskom plans to replace the xenons. They also have about three times the lifespan of the 70W metal-halides.

    Eskom-initiated forensic investigations showed there was no basis for the flawed statement in the RFQ. “The paragraph has still not been deleted,” said Page.

    The Public Enterprises Department has referred the lighting company’s complaint to the Public Protector. In a letter, the Protector said they were “mindful that such conduct at a state-owned company is disconcerting and must be addressed”.

    Magnitech has launched a high court civil claim for the loss of lamp sales, and also filed an abuse-of-dominance complaint with the Competition Commission last year.

    Eskom spokesman Andrew Etzinger declined to comment, but the parastatal will be defending the matter. - The Star
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  2. #2
    Diamond Member AndyD's Avatar
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    Lol, this is a political issue, not an elecrtical one. I'll be reading with interest the outcome of Magnitech's day in court, especially Eskoms defence of their actions.
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    Diamond Member tec0's Avatar
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    In retrospect Eskom had no right to diminish the image and brand name nor did they have the right to make claims without solid evidence. Also there is a question of authority here that was not met properly. Eskom is our only provider of electric energy this doesn’t mean they have the sole expertise to degrade other electric products.

    Example I don’t see an “Eskom stamp of approval” I see an SABS stamp of approval and that is the stamp that I as a general consumer is interested in. A independent study will confirm or deny the quality of the product. Only after the independent investigation and study can one say if Eskom owes this company any form of apology and if they are guilty or not.

    The reality is you need all the FACTS before you can do or say anything.
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    Diamond Member Blurock's Avatar
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    There are many consultants advising municipalities and parastatals on products and procurement. The reality is that the state employees, many of them deployed cadres from the ANC, do not have the qualifications or ability to run the departments that they are responsible for. Unfortunately some unscrupulous consultants may also give the wrong advice in order to promote products in which they may have a personal interest or for which they may get kickbacks.
    Only chickens achieve something while sitting still...

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    Diamond Member Justloadit's Avatar
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    It is up to the public to root out these unqualified personnel, and if it involves the public protector, then so be it. If we do not start acting now, then thew country will never recover from the slippery slope that the whole country is currently in. There is still some honey left in the pot to recover, albeit with hard work to recovery, but as soon as there is nothing left in the pot, it will take decades to recover.

    Let the people begin to complain and start expecting better service from government. If we do not demand this then the government will continue with its shoddy services.
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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    I recently heard the average salary for an Eskom employee is over R600k per annum.

    For that kind of money, you'd expect to find a pretty jacked organisation under the hood.

    Or a steaming heap of misery where the only reason people work there is for the money
    Last edited by Dave A; 30-Apr-14 at 01:32 PM.
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  7. #7
    Gold Member Houses4Rent's Avatar
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    The pitfalls of averages I guess.

    I remember Eskoms programme to replace the old (indascent?) bulbs with low energy bulbs (CFL?) for free (along with dishing out geyser blankest and pipe insultions). They never told anybody that the latter has mercury in them and need to be disposed as hazardous waste. So all this will go to normal landfil now. They also never told anybody that the low eneryg bulbs are not designed for frequent swicthing. They are designed to stay on for long periodes and then tehy last long. At least that is what I know. So this sort of falls into the same category to fool people.
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