New Eskom boss talks up threats


Eskom’s new in­terim Group Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Sean Maritz has asked for space and time to fo­cus on ex­e­cut­ing his du­ties as man­dated by the power util­ity’s board with the sup­port of Pub­lic En­ter­prises Min­is­ter Lynne Brown.

In a state­ment yes­ter­day, Maritz said the ex­ec­u­tive man­age­ment team re­mains fo­cused on its five pri­or­ity ini­tia­tives, namely: in­creas­ing de­mand for elec­tric­ity; re­duc­ing pri­mary en­ergy costs; im­ple­ment­ing ad­vance an­a­lyt­ics to de­liver sav­ings; re­leas­ing gov­ern­ment guar­an­tees; and en­sur­ing the com­ple­tion of the new build pro­gramme.

“Glob­ally, the elec­tric­ity land­scape is chang­ing rapidly. Eskom is not im­mune to this change and we are fac­ing threats on mul­ti­ple fronts: within the South African elec­tric­ity mar­ket, and within the broader global en­ergy con­text. With a wave of change in cus­tomer, sup­plier and com­peti­tor be­hav­iour, we are fac­ing a con­strained elec­tric­ity sales path,” he said.

Maritz, who was ap­pointed to the top post last Fri­day, said, “By ex­ploit­ing both reg­u­lated and un­reg­u­lated op­por­tu­ni­ties, we have an op­por­tu­nity to de­liver sig­nif­i­cant rev­enue im­pact. We will do this by un­lock­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties, fo­cus­ing on lo­cal de­mand stimu- la­tion, cross-bor­der sales and un­reg­u­lated op­por­tu­ni­ties.

McKin­sey mat­ter

On the is­sue of McKin­sey’s state­ment with re­la­tions to pay back the fees paid to it, the power util­ity said it had noted the mat­ter.

“Eskom has noted the state­ments made by McKin­sey in re­la­tion to pay­ing back the fees paid to it in 2016. Eskom’s lawyers are han­dling the mat­ter, and will in due course ad­vise on the way for­ward,” it said.

Last week, Eskom an­nounced that it would be tak­ing ac­tion to re­cover funds that were paid to McKin­sey and Tril­lian. In a state­ment on Thursday, the power util­ity said it has writ­ten to the two companies ex­plain­ing the ac­tion it would take. Eskom re­quested their co­op­er­a­tion in the mat­ter.

“Eskom sought McKin­sey and Tril­lian’s co­op­er­a­tion in re­spec­tively re­turn­ing R1 bil­lion and R564 mil­lion, which ap­pears to have been un­law­fully paid out in 2016 and 2017. “The in­terim find­ings from Eskom in­ves­ti­ga­tions, into the cir­cum­stances sur­round­ing pay­ments made to both companies, point to cer­tain de­ci­sions by Eskom, and re­sul­tant pay­ments, as be­ing un­law­ful,” it said at the time.


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