1 April 2014

South Africa: Electricity Problems Converge As Eskom CEO Departs


We bid farewell to Brian Dames, the outgoing CEO of Eskom, after his last day at the utility on Monday. With a number of electricity sector problems converging, Eskom, as it is currently structured and financed, is simply unsustainable and unmanageable.

While Dames' departure may be understandable - the burdens of office of the Eskom CEO are particularly onerous these days, and he indicates that he needs to get a life again - it surely cannot be said that Dames has achieved success.

In fact, by leaving before the end of his term at a critical stage in the construction of the new-build programme - which is running three years late and which he and O'Flaherty led - Dames has surely failed in the mission and goals that he would have set himself upon taking office.

The reality is that the utility is facing enormous problems which are converging at a time when Eskom has been left with an acting CEO with no direct experience of running a major state-owned enterprise and business the size of Eskom, or managing projects of the size and technical complexity of Medupi and Kusile.

The long-standing generation capacity crisis has led ...

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