JOHANNESBURG – Public Enterprise Minister Lynne Brown on Tuesday, said that Eskom would appoint a permanent chief executive within the first quarter of this year.
Eskom’s top job became vacant at the end of December, when former chief executive Brian Molefe resigned following his implication in possible wrong-doing in the Public Protector’s “State of Capture” report.
Incumbent Matshela Koko was appointed in an acting role for the position since January 1.
“As soon as the board submits the three names of people shortlisted as candidates, we will make an appointment. But the names will still have to go through the economic cluster and Cabinet for approval,” Brown said.
Brown was speaking during the Eskom’s quarterly system status briefing at the power utility’s headquarters in Megawatt Park, Johannesburg.
Brown reiterated her support for Eskom’s debt recovery strategy which so far has yielded positive results by recovering R1 billion of the estimated R10.2 billion owed by various municipalities.
Brown said she was encouraged by the manner in which the Interdepartmental Task Team of the department, Eskom, the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) with the support of Minister Des Van Rooyen, the National Treasury and provinces and the municipalities; were engaging to resolve the matter.
“It is critical that Eskom recovers all its revenue to be able to honour obligations to its creditors in order to remain sustainable,” Brown said.
“I have requested Eskom to delay implementing power interruptions until the end of the month to give municipalities a few more days to make agreed payments and avoid negative impacts on local customers and the economy.”
Brown also praised Eskom for implementing a turnaround strategy that resulted in a shift from load shedding to long-term and sustainable energy solutions.
“Since the injection of the new leadership, Eskom has been able to put together interventions that have been able to steer the company in the direction where we are. I am delighted with the turnaround at Eskom in line with its five-year design-to-cost strategy to achieve financial and operational sustainability,” she said.
“Eskom has focused on reducing its cost base, delivering new plant and increasing its sales through cross border sales to the rest of the continent in order to maintain its financial sustainability.”