South Africa: Ramaphosa appoints Eskom Sustainability Task Team

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South Africa: President appoints Eskom Sustainability Task Team
South Africa: President appoints Eskom Sustainability Task Team

President Cyril Ramaphosa has appointed an Eskom Sustainability Task Team to advise government on actions to resolve Eskom’s operational, structural and financial challenges.

The high-level task team consists of individuals with extensive electricity, management and economic expertise.

Ramaphosa has appointed the following task team members:

– Anton Eberhard

– Brian Dames

– Tsakani Mthombeni

– Sy Gourrah

– Grové Steyn

– Frans Baleni

– Mick Davis

– Busisiwe Vilakazi

Top of the Eskom Sustainability Task Team’s agenda will be the following key issues:

– Assess the operational, structural and financial viability of Eskom, including key assumptions around life of plant, impact and cost of environment commitments and demand assumptions.

– Review the turnaround strategy submitted by the Eskom Board of Directors. This will include a review of key assumptions, impact on tariffs and industry, and viability of proposed solutions on the future role of Eskom.

– Assess the appropriateness of the current Eskom business model and structure.

– Present a view on the current energy trends and the evolution of the global energy context.

– Present a view on the role, positioning and structure of energy utilities and provide proposals.

– Propose alternative business and financial models appropriate for the South African context.

– Propose how the structure of the electricity industry in South Africa can adapt to evolving changes in this sector, including the harnessing of new technologies.

– Make proposals to resolve the debt burden.

The task team will also consult with various role players, including labour and business.

“The assessments that will be carried out by the task team arise from government’s concern that the lack of adequate electricity has a negative impact on economic recovery and that there is a need for intervention in the short and medium term, to restore the supply-demand balance,” said the Presidency on Friday.

This is coupled with severe financial constraints at Eskom, which impact on the fiscus, and where “operational and financial issues have become inter-related and need to be addressed simultaneously”.

The board of directors, management and the Department of Public Enterprises will work with the task team.

The appointment of the task team comes a week after the Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan held a briefing assuring the public that no efforts will be spared in bringing stability to Eskom.

Ramaphosa has requested the task team to submit their initial recommendations by the end of January 2019. – SAnews.gov.za

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