Eskom Appoints Commission To Investigate Itself
Johannesburg - Eskom is to commission an independent inquiry into the running of its business, Eskom Chairman Zola Tsotsi said on Thursday.
“The Eskom board has today resolved to commission an independent inquiry on the current state of the business and its challenges. We have deemed it prudent to seek an independent view of the status of, among other things, the poor performance on generation plants,” said Tsotsi.
The inquiry, Tsotsi said, will seek an independent view of poor performance on generation plants and high costs of primary energy, among others.
The chairman further added the decision was brought about by a board meeting held on Wednesday.
In addition to the inquiry, four executives, including Eskom Chief Executive Officer Tsediso Matona, have been asked to step aside for the duration of the three month inquiry. The other three executives that have been asked to step aside are Financial Director Tsholofelo Molefe and Group Executives Dan Morokane and Matshela Koko.
“The board would like the (exercise) to last no more than three months,” said Tsotsi, adding that it is critical to improve the situation at the power utility and for the inquiry to come out with solutions.
Tsotsi added that there was no malice behind the inquiry, saying an interim CEO and other executives will be put in place over the course of the duration of the inquiry, which will be carried out by an independent body.
“There are no charges against them,” said the chairman, refering to the four executives asked to step aside.
He added that the inquiry was a fact finding mission, and if improper conduct was uncovered “obviously we will have to attend to it”.
On a question of whether the shareholder [the Department of Public Enterprises] has been informed of the inquiry, Tsotsi said the blessing of the shareholder has been sought.
“So we have their support,” he said, adding that the inquiry did not mean that the board has lost confidence in Matona.
“No we haven’t lost confidence in the current CEO and there is no crisis at Eskom,” he said.
The four executives had been asked to step aside so as to allow the inquiry to carry on unhindered.
Meanwhile, the power system is expected to remain tight going into the weekend, said the entity.
Public Enterprises welcomes
Pretoria - Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown has welcomed Eskom’s decision to launch an independent inquiry into the way it conducts business.
The Minister said as the shareholder representative, she is concerned about the instability at power plants; the financial liquidity of the utility; the lack of credible information; the unreliable supply of electricity and its dire impact on the economy.
She also expressed concern at progress with the build programme; overruns at Medupi and Kusile; delays of the investigation into incidents at Majuba and Duvha and the issue of coal and diesel pricing.
“I welcome the board’s decision to launch a comprehensive and holistic audit into the matters as highlighted,” said the Minister on Thursday afternoon.
The Minister’s comments come as board chairperson Zola Tsotsi announced that the utility will commission an independent inquiry.
“The Eskom board has today resolved to commission an independent inquiry on the current state of the business and its challenges. We have deemed it prudent to seek an independent view of the status of, among other things, the poor performance of generation plants,” he said at a press conference on Thursday.
Minister Brown addressed the Eskom board on Wednesday, where she shared her concerns, fears and frustration about the state of affairs at the state owned company.
“In my view, it should be deeper than a mere fact finding exercise and it should be a deep-dive into the company to tell us what is wrong and how it should be fixed,” she said.
The Minister said since the start of load shedding, she has been inundated with complaints from the public and business about the reliability of the grid and its impact on the economy and the lives of ordinary citizens.
have been assured that the audit investigation would not take longer
than three months and that it is not directed at any particular
individual or group but that it merely seeks to ensure that the
current challenges faced by the utility are addressed,” she said.