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It's business as usual at Eskom

Despite a leadership vacuum, Eskom says it's business as usual at the ailing utility.

Despite the apparent lack of leadership, staff continued with daily operations, and Eskom said it didn’t expect to implement load shedding over the weekend. Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Eskom on Wednesday said it was 'business as usual' at the ailing utility, despite Chairperson Zola Tsotsi resigning from his position this week.

Doctor Ben Ngubane was appointed to replace Tsotsi as acting chairperson.

Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Tshediso Matona and three other executives remain suspended, for the duration of an independent inquiry into the parastatal's affairs.

Despite the apparent lack of leadership, staff continued with daily operations, and Eskom said it didn't expect to implement load shedding over the weekend.

Tsotsi is yet to speak publicly about his sudden departure this week and it's understood that Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown was meeting with the board today.

With an acting chairman now in place, as well as an acting CEO and three other temporary replacements, concerns had been raised about who was actually leading Eskom.

But spokesperson Kulu Phasiwe said they're carrying on.

"Many of our employees are resilient and determined to keep the lights on and at an operation level we continue to do what we have to do."

The power system remains relatively stable and if there are no technical problems South Africans can expect uninterrupted power throughout the long weekend.

BROWN MOVES TO ASSURE SA ON ESKOM

Brown on Wednesday assured South Africans that Eskom was on "solid ground", despite several temporary executives in place.

Brown said Tsotsi's resignation would hopefully result in more stability in the long run.

She added that government was committed to providing reliable electricity and said a new contract was signed to add to the power grid on Tuesday.

"Yesterday, Eskom signed the cogen which will ensure 827 megawatts of electricity onto the grid. Given the tight electricity supply, the renewal of the cogen plants was essential, so work continues."

At the same time, the minister said she was satisfied with Tsotsi's resignation and supported the board's decision to appoint Ben Ngubane as acting chairperson.

CALLS FOR STABILITY AT ESKOM

There were calls for stability at Eskom on Tuesday following Tsotsi's departure.

Majority union at Eskom, the National Union of Mineworkers' Frans Baleni welcomed Tsotsi's resignation.

"The sooner we get stability the better to allow the dedicated team to focus on taking Eskom forward."

But energy expert Chris Yelland raised concerns about Eskom's leadership.

"Not only do we have an acting chairman but we also have an acting CEO and an acting financial director, so the entire senior executive of Eskom is missing."

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