Sceptical committee urges Eskom to tackle reforms

Cape Town – Parliament’s portfolio committee on public enterprises this week urged power utility Eskom to consider specific reforms to improve the financial management of the business, as well as optimise its operations.

The parastatal told the committee that it plans to institute a lifestyle audit on its employees, and that it would be investigating 239 cases of misconduct on the part of employees.

The committee broadly welcomed new CEO Phakamani Hadebe’s resolve to clean up Eskom.

In a statement the committee welcomed the submission by the Eskom board with cautious optimism, noting that previous boards managed to impress Parliament all while presiding over an entity “on the verge of collapse”.

The committee also noted with concern the amount of R13.5bn that municipalities owe the power utility. Eskom appealed to the committee for intervention on this matter, as it is beyond Eskom’s control,” said the statement.

The committee said after the coal supply contracts at Eskom led to crises, including the Tegeta contracts and others, the entity must seriously consider using the state’s own mining company to supply coal to stations that need it.

The state-owned mining company, the African Exploration Mining and Finance Corporation, sits under the Department of Energy.

“The committee made these comments following recent media reports about certain power stations that are not receiving sufficient coal,” the statement said.

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