Retired engineers will work for free to fix Eskom

Eskom has confirmed receiving offers of assistance from a group of retired engineers comprising former employees, who have said they want to help fix the problems at the power utility.

It said that all of the engineers who have offered their services to the company are retirees, many of whom were previously employees at Eskom.

“Eskom can confirm it has received unsolicited offers from a group of engineers, many of whom are former Eskom employees and now retirees, who wish contribute their skills free of charge to help rebuild the organisation,” said Eskom spokesperson Sikonathi Mantshantsha.

“Eskom will consider their CVs individually and welcome those who have specialist skills to help and to work on an uncompensated basis.”

“All of these individuals are retirees who voluntarily approached Eskom, and are willing to work without any compensation or contract,” Eskom said.

“Anyone else, whatever race, gender, who has a skill and willing to do the same can approach and will be considered.”

Surviving lockdown

According to recent reports, Eskom’s financial problems have been exacerbated by the national coronavirus lockdown, with the company losing nearly R2.5 billion in revenue during the first month after level 5 was implemented.

Eskom reportedly took measures such as initiating a voluntary severance package process for managers across February and March to reduce the impact of this loss.

The company was also investigating other ways to cut costs, including increasing its collection of unpaid debts and reducing procurement expenditure.

The power utility has also taken legal action against municipalities which owe it substantial debt in an effort to improve its financial situation, as Eskom is owed a total of R28 billion from municipalities in South Africa.

“To collect these unpaid debts Eskom has taken legal action against the municipalities and, where appropriate, curtailed supply to some of the customers,” it previously stated.

“In areas where there are high nonpayment rates for services rendered, Eskom has resolved to limit expenditure on fixing broken infrastructure.”

Speaking with Chris Yelland, Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter recently said that Eskom’s most difficult challenge is managing its debt.

“We need to look at our revenue, and in the current depressed economic environment, sales are likely to remain flat, if anything,” said de Ruyter.

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Retired engineers will work for free to fix Eskom