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.
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.