Eskom cuts executive management posts in bid to secure turnaround

Eskom has reduced its executive management from 21 to nine in a bid to reduce costs and "improve profitability and drive the economy forward".

The cash-strapped power utility announced on Sunday night that it had concluded its 189 process which began on November 7.

“This was not an easy process, and I appreciate the patience and support of all those involved as we worked to conclude matters as efficiently as possible. We have managed to reduce the number of F-Band positions from a total of 21 to 9 by way of regrading or combining roles," said Eskom CEO Phakamani Hadebe, adding that the new structure coupled with its turnaround strategy would set it on a path towards stability.

New structure

The new structure also means a reduced number of direct reports for the Group Chief Executive to 10 in the short term, which will be further reduced to eight when IT and Procurement are relinked to the Chief Financial Officer, Eskom said.

"In addition, all senior general manager roles... have been eliminated."

On Sunday, Fin24 reported that Hadebe explained in an internal notice to staff that was leaked to the media, that under the group's previous structure, there were employees in executive posts who were not Exco members but were occupying senior general management occupational levels.

"This has since been removed with a view to reducing the levels of work and improving the spans of control."

Money, money, money

The power utility, which has been described as a risk to the health of SA's economy by credit rating agencies, is saddled with R419bn of debt and is looking to the government for a bailout.

It was forced to implement load shedding in late November due to breakdowns and lack of spending on maintenance at power plants. 

President Cyril Ramaphosa appointed an Eskom Sustainability Task Team to advise government on actions to resolve Eskom’s operational, structural and financial challenges in mid-December. 

The team is tasked with coming up with solutions to the various problems faced by Eskom, and consists of "individuals with extensive electricity, management and economic expertise", spokesperson Khusela Diko said.

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