Sunday Times

The board of power utility Eskom has announced that they will be commissioning an independent enquiry on the current status of the business and its challenges.

In addition to the Board addressing the current energy hurdles they have advised that it is imperative to investigate:

  • Delays in bringing the new generation plant on-stream
  • The poor performance of generation plant
  • High costs of primary energy
  • Cash flow challenges

Eskom chairman Mr Zola Tsotsi said: “To ensure that this process is as transparent and uninhibited as possible, the Board has also resolved that four of its senior executives, including the Chief Executive, should step down for the duration of this enquiry”.

Executives to step aside during the enquiry

The other executives who have been asked to step down while the enquiry is underway are Ms Tsholofelo Molefe (Finance Director), Mr Dan Marokane (Group Capital) and Mr Matshela Koko (Commercial and Technology).

One of the current non-executive Board members, Mr Zethembe Khoza, has been asked to assume the position of interim Chief Executive. Mr Khoza will be supported by registered Chartered Accountant Ms Nonkululeko Veleti, Project director at Kusile Mr Abram Masango and Engineer Mr Edwin Mabelane.

Tsotsi commented: “All these senior executives have been with the organisation a long time and we are confident that they will maintain business continuity during this period.”

Eskom stated that “the Board also resolved that the independent enquiry be conducted by external parties, who will be selected within the next week. They will be given unfettered rights of access to all information deemed necessary for this probe to be successful.”

The Board has emphasized that this process is a critical step towards ensuring that the situation facing Eskom improves as expeditiously as possible, Eskom added in a statement.

“To that end, we would like to assure our customers and employees that this was done in the best interest of all our stakeholders, and we hope to come out of this with a better grasp of all the challenges facing the business, and most importantly, with solutions”, Tsotsi concluded.

Ministry response

Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown responded in a statement shortly after the announcement was made welcoming the Board’s decision.

“I welcome the board’s decision to launch a comprehensive and holistic audit into the matters as highlighted”, Brown said.

“I have been assured that the audit investigation would not take longer than three months and that it is not directed at any particular individual or group but that it merely seeks to ensure that the current challenges faced by the utility are addressed”, Brown added.

(Pic Credit: Sunday Times)

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Nicolette Pombo-van Zyl has been working in the African power, energy and water sectors since 2011, first with African Utility Week and now as the Editor of ESI Africa. She is also an Advisory Board member of the Global and African Power & Energy Elites publications. With her passion for sustainable business and placing African countries on the international stage, Nicolette takes a keen interest in current affairs and technology trends.