Eskom scoops top award

Cape Town – Eskom has been honoured for preserving the environment and harnessing the country’s natural resources, as well as for its social investment commitment.

While the power utility has been embroiled in controversy for not meeting the country’s electricity demands as well as its delayed new build programme, a maintenance backlog and an executive overhaul, it continues to gain recognition in various areas.

The latest honour came from this week's 17th annual Sunday Times Top Brands Awards, which won Eskom the Green Grand Prix Award for preserving the environment and harnessing the country’s natural resources. It also came third for its social investment strategy.

Earlier this month, the EY annual integrated reporting survey named Eskom the top state-owned company that was judged as “excellent”. It also topped the list of assurance and advisory firm Nkonki’s annual review of integrated reporting in July.

“Despite many of the country’s SOCs (state-owned companies) coming under fire for a variety of reasons, our report indicates that they are in fact doing admirably in terms of their reporting standards, and that their integrated reporting continues to improve,” said Thuto Masasa, the Nkonki lead partner on integrated reporting.

Eskom said in a statement on Friday that it continues to complement its commitment to environmental sustainability and reduce its carbon footprint with purchases of renewable energy from independent power producers.

“We continue to promote a culture that recognises sustainable development in all our activities,” said Brian Molefe, Eskom’s acting CEO. “Environmental compliance, in terms of air quality, land, biodiversity, water, waste (including nuclear waste) and ash management, impacts operational sustainability.

“It is critical to maintaining our licence to operate, thereby ensuring security of supply. It also underpins our principle of zero harm to the environment, while operating under complex and evolving environmental requirements.”

Eskom was recognised for the 100MW Sere wind facility near Vredendal in the Western Cape, as well as the pilot solar photovoltaic plants for its own consumption at the Kendal and Lethabo power stations.

It was also recognised for developing a diversified energy mix that includes wind, solar, hydro, pumped storage schemes, a nuclear power station and coal-fired power stations.

Eskom also said on Friday that it has managed to avoid implementing load shedding for 19 days in a row.

"Eskom has met the country’s electricity demand while operating its generation fleet in a sustainable manner for almost three weeks, resulting in no load shedding for 19 consecutive days," it said in a statement.

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