Eskom’s new board chair, Mpho Makwana, has promised to comment on plans to resolve the country’s energy crisis after two months.
Makwana told Newzroom Afrika this week that the board will use the time to conduct an “onboarding programme”, saying the Eskom he led in 2011 was not the same as the present one.
The new chairperson and his board are tasked with increasing SA’s energy availability factor (EAF) to 75% – a target set by public enterprises minister Pravin Gordhan. The EAF currently stands at less than 60%.
“We want to be given the space to conduct a proper assessment. The second thing I need to be upfront about is we must guard against placing hope on an individual. Eskom has got 35,000 to 40,000 very capable people and is not a one person’s show in the office of the chair,” said Makwana.
According to Makwana, the “onboarding programme” will include visiting various power stations, establishing the root cause of the problem and what needs to be done to improve generation capacity.
“Only by dealing with the root cause will we really be able to solve these problems permanently, and this takes time,” he said.
Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter said power cuts should start easing withing the next 10 days when big generation units are expected to come back online.
Speaking to Radio Sonder Grense, De Ruyter said: “We are doing everything possible to add megawatts to the grid. We have started buying power from Zambia and we are looking at Mozambique and the private sector to add megawatts.”
He said the private sector has 6,000MW of new renewable projects in the pipeline.
Source: Times Live, Business Day, image from Twitter: @ferialhaffajee