Ramaphosa to oversee Eskom, SAA turnaround

Cape Town - Zola Tsotsi has been reappointed as chairperson of the Eskom board, but former Land Bank chairperson Ben Ngubane has been named one of nine new members to the state power monopoly’s board which has now been instructed to work with the private sector to resolve its electricity supply problems.

This was announced in Pretoria on Thursday by Minister in the Presidency Jeff Radebe after a regular cabinet meeting. It was widely expected that Ngubane would be appointed chairperson but Tsotsi was reappointed. The only other reappointment to the Eskom board is Chwayita Mabude.

Other members of the board are Norman Baloyi, Dr Pathmanathan Naidoo, Venete Klein, Nazia Carrim, Romeo Kumalo, Mark Pamensky, Zethembe Khoza, Devapushpum Viroshini Naidoo.

Radebe said cabinet was concerned about the performance “of some of the state owned companies in particular Eskom, the South African Airways, and the South African Post Office”.

These state owned entities “play critical development role within the South African economy,” said Radebe, noting that President Jacob Zuma had assigned Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa to oversee the turnaround of the three state owned companies.

The presidency, said Radebe, would “closely monitor the implementation of the turnaround plans of these three critical state-owned companies that are drivers of the economy”.

At Eskom a five point plan had been agreed to by cabinet.

Over the next 30 days Eskom would harness the cogeneration opportunity “through the extension of existing contracts with the private sector”, accelerate the programme of substitution of diesel with gas to fire up the diesel power plants. In addition a coal independent power producer would be lauched while retrofitting energy efficient technologies would be implemented in residential dwellings, public and commercial buildings and municipal buildings.

Cogeneration options would be pursued with the sugar, paper and pulp industries to harness waste energy to the extent of 1 000 megawatts.

Radebe said there were significant opportunities for the importation of gas. In January the coal independent power producer programme would be launched with a generation capacity of 2 500 megawatts.

Radebe referred to the funding needs of Eskom only generally. He said that Eskom would present a detailed finance plan to manage its cash flow beyond 2015. This plan would be presented to the interministerial committee of cabinet by the end of the year.

“Government will finance the funding model,” he said.

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