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On Monday, Eskom Divisional Executive: Security, Brigadier-General (Ret.) Tebogo Rakau, and the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) Group Executive: Strategic Alliances and Communications, Dr Rachel Chikwamba, signed an agreement that formalises interaction between the organisations in the security domain.

CSIR to support security of utility

According to the parastatal, this agreement will support the establishment of a standing security sub-committee that will identify and deal with security risks that unmitigated, are having a significant financial impact on Eskom’s business.

The committee will oversee threat/risk assessment, geographical information systems (GIS), cyber security, network/energy crimes and security technologies and systems.

Rakau said: “Eskom is pleased to embrace this collaborative partnership with the CSIR where the spotlight will be on security, probably a first in the history of Eskom.

“This initiative will assist us to leverage off the well-founded research capabilities within the CSIR. Teamwork is key, and partnerships such as the Eskom-CSIR one, will certainly promote excellence that will assist us to keep abreast in the ever-changing security environment, where technologies and trends are rapidly advancing.”

The General added: “The Eskom-CSIR collaborative security initiative will in the longer term contribute to Eskom’s business stability, ensuring that we are able to effectively supply our broad customer-base with secure and sustainable energy.”

Establishing collaborative programme

Commenting on this development, Chikwamba said: “Eskom and the CSIR established this Security Sub-committee with the relevant expertise to design and put in place robust solutions to these challenges.

“To this end, we will jointly create a dynamic collaborative programme that will ensure optimal utilisation of all the multidisciplinary capabilities within not only the CSIR but across the National System of Innovation (NSI).”

She added: “The objective of the agreement is to provide a framework to govern the strategic collaboration on this topic between the two parties. We are delighted to see our partnership starting to bear fruits.”

[quote]The state-owned power company explained in a statement that the collaboration in the security domain is designed to address Eskom’s imperative to ensure long term financial sustainability of the organisation.

“By enabling the CSIR and Eskom to address the changing risks and threats to Eskom’s revenue, assets and installations, the two organisations will ensure that current threats are appropriately mitigated and future threats are identified pro-actively so that suitable pre-emptive measures, systems and procedures can be identified and implemented,” the utility said.

In May, Eskom’s Group Chief Executive, Brian Molefe and the CEO of the CSIR, Dr Sibusiso Sibisi, signed a strategic partnership agreement between the two entities.

The power company explained that the agreement formalised the organisations’ collaborative relationship and provided for the establishment of a joint long-term strategy to perform scientific and operational research and provide technical decision support to Eskom’s strategic and operational needs.

In that agreement, Eskom identified three imperatives vis.,

(i) availability of the existing fleet,

(ii) safe delivery on the new build programme and capacity management, and

(iii) regain financial strength, that have been expanded to identify new and existing technologies and capabilities that can address specific challenges.

According to Eskom, the agreement focuses on the third imperative to regain financial strength and aspects to be jointly investigated include security risk management solutions to prevent theft and safeguard high-value assets; cable and infrastructure theft detection and prevention; smart meter protection; and detection and prevention of illegal connections and revenue theft.