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Eskom: The strain, the pain and the bid for a new CEO

Former Eskom bosses are lining up to take the CEO position and they all appear convinced they will be able to turn the debt-laden state-owned entity around.

The power utility supplies 95% of the power to South Africa but is not generating enough income to keep up with the running costs since it has a debt of R450-billion and while government have issued a three year bailout of R128-billion, this will not be enough to keep the utility afloat.

Who is in the running?

Eskom’s chair, Jabu Mabuza is temporarily is currently acting CEO since Phakamani Hadebe resigned from the power utility at the end of July.

One applicant is former CEO of LNG Canada, Andy Calitz started his career as an electrical engineer at Eskom and later moved up through the ranks in various senior posts at Royal Dutch Shell.

According to BusinessDay, Eskom’s former head of group capital, Dan Marokane has also applied but requested not to be identified.

Former CEOs Brian Dames and Jacob Maroga have been recommended to Eskom’s board by business leaders.

Applications for the CEO position closed on August 2 and Mabuza has agreed to relinquish the post at the end of October.

Ivory Park community prevented Eskom from removing illegal connections.

Earlier this week thee were reports that Eskom were unable to replace failed transformers in the Ivory Park area on the Midrand.

The transformers blew as a result of a network overload due to illegal connections but technicians were unable to work safely as the community denied them access and refused to allow them to remove the illegal connections.

Eskom to supply Zimbabwe with power relief.

Last week Eskom came to an agreement with Zimbabwe that despite their debt to the company they will be allowed to access 400MW of power weekly from Eskom.

Fin24 reported that Zimbabwe were battling to keep the lights on due to a 800MW power deficit.

Zimbabwe is said to be paying Eskom R14-million per week to import the power.

Zesa Holdings will be reducing their load-shedding to between 5am and 10am and 5pm and 10pm and are on a mission to root out illegal connections in the country.

The grid is stable.

The utility’s Dikatso Mothae said that Eskom’s grid is stable and there are no plans for load-shedding in the country at any point in time.

What happened to the unbundling?

We are still waiting to hear president Cyril Ramaphosa’s plans to unbundle the SEO into three entities and Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan said this should be announced later this month.