In a surprising turn, Mpho Makwana, the chairperson of the board at Eskom, has stepped down from his post after a mere year on the job. This announcement came on the heels of a turbulent year for the power utility, marked by heightened load-shedding and ongoing financial woes.
Makwana’s Stint and Eskom’s Tumultuous Journey
Joining Eskom’s ranks in September of the previous year, Makwana took the reins during a time of increased power cuts. Eskom’s challenges didn’t end there:
- A delay in tabling their audited financial statements to Parliament by the September deadline.
- A reported loss of a staggering R5 billion in Q1 of the present fiscal year.
- Rising pressure to augment transmission lines catering to renewable energy projects.
However, there seems to be a silver lining with Mteto Nyati poised to take over the role, as confirmed by the Minister of Public Enterprises, Pravin Gordhan.
Financial Hurdles and Revelations
Eskom’s financial challenges are further underscored by comments from the Electricity Minister, Kgosientsho Ramokgopa. “Eskom does not have a strong balance sheet to invest in the expansion of the grid,” he remarked, indicating that a colossal R250 billion would be required for the grid expansion. With this, eyes turn to the private sector as potential investors.
To add to the utility’s concerns, it remains CEO-less since André de Ruyter’s resignation the previous December. This was soon followed by de Ruyter’s startling claim about cartels within Eskom and allegations of high-profile political figures embroiled in corruption.
Stay Tuned: The Standing Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa) is slated to convene soon, discussing a senior police official’s legal standpoint on submissions to the committee, possibly shedding light on the gravity of de Ruyter’s claims.