No festive leave for Eskom senior managers amid load shedding
Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan says senior managers need to find out why power stations are failing.
JOHANNESBURG - While South Africans continue to battle load shedding, Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan has announced that all leave has been cancelled for senior managers at Eskom who will now have to go to power stations to find out exactly what’s going wrong.
He has been giving an explanation for the ongoing outages at a briefing on Thursday in Johannesburg.
Gordhan says senior managers need to find out why power stations are failing.
“All senior managers at Eskom have also been assigned to power stations to go there personally and understand what’s happening at a power station level so that we actually have both quantitative and qualitative information.”
He says managers need to be held to account.
“Accompanying this must be consequence management…”
GORDHAN ON LOAD SHEDDING
Gordhan says Eskom managers have been told that stage two load shedding needs to come to an end in the next 10 days, if not sooner.
South Africans have had to battle through mainly stage two load shedding for the past week now with the utility saying it needed to attend to breakdowns at its coal-fired power stations and build up its diesel and water reserves.
Gordhan says citizens need to have electricity over the festive season.
“Between 15 December and 15 January, there is a lower demand in any case because of the shutdown of industry and no load shedding should be expected during that period. The management must give us the assurance that they’re working towards that particular objective.”
He says load shedding must not affect the country's growth.
“So, ideally the kind of good numbers that we saw from the third quarter 2.2% GDP growth is what Eskom doesn’t want to be seen messing around with or interfering within any kind of way.”
MEDUPI COSTS PROBE
Gordhan says there will be an investigation into why costs have doubled in the construction of the Medupi Power Station.
He says Medupi should have been producing more power by now and costs have been bloated.
“Somebody is making money out of the doubled cost of Medupi. So, we might have some early suspicions in this regard, but hopefully in the new year, will have a much better idea.”
He says management will be changed: “There’s going to be a few changes. We’re used to reshuffles at Cabinet, there’s going to be a few here [at Eskom] as well.”
Gordhan says Eskom is working hard to avoid a “dark Christmas”.
“We want to give the public the assurance that we’re working very hard to ensure that that doesn’t happen and hopefully next week we can give a much more concrete assurance in that regard.”