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Financial oversight at Eskom improved during tenure, says outgoing CEO Hadebe

Eskom incurred a loss of R20.7 billion and amassed debt of R440 billion.

FILE: Eskom CEO Phakamani Hadebe. Picture: Kayleen Morgan/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Outgoing Eskom CEO Phakamani Hadebe said on Tuesday there had been slight improvements in how the state-owned company had run under his watch but that it wasn’t enough.

Hadebe presented the power utility’s results for the 2018/2019 financial year.

Eskom incurred a loss of R20.7 billion and amassed debt of R440 billion.

Hadebe said that during his almost two years as CEO he prioritised financial oversight, governance, and operational performance.

He said financial oversight had improved as Eskom, along with the Special Investigations Unit, had identified 10 companies which they believed needed to pay the utility back a total of about R72 billion.

Eskom’s total earnings sit at around R32 billion, while its debt amounted to R70 billion.

Hadebe said the balance sheet of Eskom needed to be structured to address the utility’s debt.

“The amount we are generating is not sufficient to even pay the interest. We are like an individual who borrows money to pay interest on a credit card, that has to change,” Hadebe said.

He said the turnaround strategy was implemented because of this financial situation.

Wednesday is Hadebe’s last day as CEO of Eskom. He will be succeeded by interim board chairperson Jabu Mabuza who will play a double role for three months while the search for a permanent candidate continued.

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