Eskom insists it’s not entirely in the dark

Eskom says it has its own plan to ensure the utility is financially stable.

FILE. Acting Eskom CEO Brian Molefe. Picture: AFP.

JOHANNESBURG - Eskom's acting CEO Brian Molefe on Tuesday said his mandate is to stabilise the utility, and that great progress is being made.

Molefe announced the utility's financial results saying the company is not insolvent, but it will be borrowing more than R20 billion from domestic markets and international bonds.

He said there is a cash flow gap but this is due to massive capital expenditure programmes.

The acting CEO on Tuesday said limiting load shedding means overworking the national grid.

But he said this is better than the cost of load shedding into the economy.

"A little piece of you dies every time the lights go off, so does mine. We would like to see load shedding kept to a minimum."

Molefe's was seconded to Eskom from Transnet for a short period, and recently his contract was extended.

His contract with Eskom ends on October.

While government is discussing the possibility of nuclear power, Molefe said Eskom hasn't been involved in these discussions yet.

"At the moment, my mandate is to stabilise Eskom, to take control of the situation with regards to load shedding."

Eskom's acting CEO does however believe that South Africa needs nuclear power because it will reduce the cost of electricity.

Meanwhile, Eskom said it intends to deal with outstanding electricity debts by pushing for pre-paid meters in residential areas.

Molefe said Eskom is also focusing on municipalities paying what is due to them.

"We intend to deal with this bad debt situation of residential by prepaid and we will be moving, at least the residential customers that are being supplied by Eskom to prepaid. That will allow us to reduce the risk of bad debt."