Eskom
Public Enterprise Minister, Lynne Brown. Pic Credit: dpe.gov
Public Enterprises Minister, Lynne Brown. Pic Credit: dpe.gov

In South Africa, Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown says that state-owned power utility Eskom is turning the corner following decisive interventions in the past year that culminated in a new board being appointed.

SAnews.gov reported that after the Annual General Meeting of Eskom in Cape Town, Brown said on Thursday that decisive interventions over the past year have had the desired effect at the power utility.

“I am confident Eskom is turning the corner and I have instructed the board to fill all senior management positions to ensure this consolidation continues.

“It’s unacceptable that senior and middle-management positions are staying vacant for too long.”

Finance and infrastructure

In addition, two areas of concern are the financial sustainability of Eskom and improving the reliability of the power plants.

“Eskom’s net profit decreased from ZAR7.1 billion ($549 million) to ZAR3.6 billion ($314 million) and management must take decisive steps to stop this decline.

“Similar to other state-owned companies, Eskom must finalise steps to wean the organisation from the support of the fiscus.

“Eskom must be put on a course where it can live off its balance sheet”, Brown said.

She added: “Although the accelerated maintenance has increased plant capacity from 65 to 75%, I am urging Eskom to continue on this trend and increase this threshold to reach at least 80%.”

Brown said that load shedding is expected to continue for the next 18 months and once again appealed to South Africans to save electricity, SAnews.gov reported.