South Africa has the skills to fix Eskom

Business Leadership SA CEO Busisiwe Mavuso believes South Africa has more than enough skills to turn Eskom around.

Mavuso, who was speaking at the Sunday Times Top 100 Companies Directors event in Johannesburg on Friday, said that the problems at Eskom are instead due to political interference.

“We have engineers galore, we have skills galore, and we have professionals galore,” said Mavuso.

“The problem is that you are put in that environment as an engineer, as the board, as the CEO, with both your arms tied behind your back, and you are expected to box in a boxing ring.”

“Decisions are being made at Luthuli House — that is where the problem is. Eskom knows what needs to be done — there are plans galore,” she added.

Former Eskom CEO Jacob Maroga, who was also at the event, said the government should not give up on Eskom, as this would be impractical.

“We have almost the 10th-largest power system in the world, and it is centred on Eskom,” said Maroga.

“There is no way, and we don’t have the money to say: ‘Let us abandon it and start something else.'”

Former Eskom CEO Jacob Maroga

Big pay increases

These statements come as the power utility reached an agreement with labour unions it says will stabilise Eskom — give employees a 7% increase.

This followed negotiations between Eskom, the National Union of Mineworkers, the National Union of Metal Workers of South Africa, and Solidarity at the Central Bargaining Forum.

“The collective agreement will go a long way in stabilising our organisation by providing Eskom with sufficient space and time to collaboratively work together to urgently address our most pressing challenges,” stated acting Eskom CEO Calib Cassim.

Cassim said this was the first time in over a decade these different parties came to an agreement.

Acting Eskom CEO Calib Cassim

Mozambique to support South Africa

Additionally, last week, Mozambique committed to supplying South Africa with 100MW of power immediately — with a further 600MW to be provided in six months.

“Going into the future, there are multiple sources in excess of 1,000MW,” said electricity minister Kgosientsho Ramokgopa.

1,000MW is the equivalent of a full stage of load-shedding and would bring welcome relief for the power grid.

“We are very grateful to the Mozambican people who are beginning to make the kind of strides that we had promised the South African people, said Ramokgopa.

Now read: Eskom employees get 7% pay increase

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South Africa has the skills to fix Eskom