14 March 2019

South Africa: Eskom Team to Submit Report in Month's Time

Eskom's Technical Review Team is expected to produce a preliminary report within four weeks, Cabinet said on Thursday.

In a statement issued following its meeting in Cape Town, Cabinet said the team appointed by Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan began its work this week.

"The Eskom Technical Review Team appointed by the Minister and the Board of Eskom started its work this week. It is expected to produce a preliminary report within four weeks," it said.

Briefing Members of Parliament earlier this week, Deputy President David Mabuza said the power utility has developed a detailed turnaround plan to address its challenges. To support the turnaround plan, government has allocated R23 billion for the next three years.

The allocation will allow Eskom to execute the turnaround plan while the independent technical review would also review the plan and evaluate the state of power stations.

Cabinet noted that the performance of Eskom's power plants remains volatile.

Meanwhile, Cabinet said it has noted the good progress made with the recovery of coal stocks across the power stations, adding that further attention must be given to the coal supply chain.

It expressed concern about the performance of the utility's Medupi and Kusile power stations.

This as the two power plants - located in Limpopo and Mpumalanga - have suffered massive delays and cost overruns due to poor planning, poor engineering designs, poor procurement practices and corruption.

"[Cabinet] has mandated Minister Gordhan to provide a comprehensive recovery plan based on a reassessment of the key drivers of the cost and time overruns for this new build project," it said.

Cabinet has also received Deputy President Mabuza's report on the work of the joint Special Cabinet Committee on Eskom that was established in response to recent, electricity supply disruptions and its negative impact on the economy.

"Government's coordinated efforts to bring financial, operational and structural sustainability to Eskom are proceeding in earnest," said Cabinet.

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