Eskom hopes to develop new, more robust power systems in South Africa

SA Eskom Power PIxabayThe Democratic Alliance (DA) will interrogate measures announced by Eskom, South African power giant, to separate the state-owned enterprise (SOE) into three entities to curb load shedding and address various other problems at the power utility the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee meeting

With stage two load shedding again creating havoc, Eskom is reportedly shuffling the positions of 12 senior staff members in its power generation division.

This is reminiscent of re-arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. What the utility needs at its helm is deep operational and financial experience in the generation sector which accounts for 85 per cent of Eskom's business.

Eskom CEO Andr√© de Ruyter said that developing a new IT system would not only delay the separation but would be very expensive. 

Current efforts might ameliorate some of the management issues (procurement, corruption, defects, coal procurement, etc) but it will not fix the core problem.

Economic growth in South Africa is dependent on a stable power supply and unless a stable baseload is re-established, load shedding will continue to hamper economic growth.

South Africans need to know how the Eskom's handling of the separation will impact service delivery. The country is struggling to deal with the economic devastation of the lockdown due to COVID-19.  Eskom needs teams with solid backgrounds in finance, design, project management, construction, commissioning and testing, operations and maintenance, to focus on fixing the SOE's legion of problems while the power utility simultaneously pursues privatisation options. Independent power producers (IPP) should also be allowed to generate and supply electricity to businesses, municipalities and provinces.

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