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South Africa’s power utility, Eskom, urged to create new energy plan

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South Africa’s state-owned power utility, Eskom, needs a new plan to allow the energy producer and supplier to continue serving the national economy.

While speaking in parliament on Wednesday, 9 October 2019, the acting group chief executive, Jabu Mabuza, said Eskom’s turnaround strategy is to stabilise, separate and to grow the company for financial and operational sustainability and this “remains urgent”.

“Those elements of the strategy that we can implement, we continue to do so. But at the end, it is very critical to create a country energy plan as the next few years pose tougher challenges for Eskom and the energy industry in an ever-changing landscape,” he told the parliamentarians.

Eskom, which has a 30-billion-dollar debt following years of corruption, mismanagement, unpaid bills by municipalities and by ordinary South Africans, is keeping President Cyril Ramaphosa and his fellow leaders sleepless.

The president, who appointed Mabuza recently to get the utility back on its feet, has told the nation that letting Eskom collapse was not an option due to the important role it plays in the country’s economy.

In presenting the power utility’s annual report to the Portfolio Committee on Public Enterprises, Mabuza noted that Eskom’s financial performance was in a dire state, and the sooner the utility turned this around the better for the country.

“The government’s financial support addresses our short-term liquidity concerns and relieves the financial pressure.

“These are issues that will be covered in more detail as they are part of the work in progress that the Minister of Finance and the National Treasury are working on,” he added.

– APA

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