Details of Eskom audit still unclear, but 'Thuma Mina' spirit is strong - Public Enterprises dept

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The Department of Public Enterprises says Eskom is still in the process of determining the scope of the power station audit that will be undertaken by local and international engineers.

The international engineers are from energy giant, Enel Spa, headquartered in Rome.

Public Enterprises department spokesperson Adrian Lackay told Fin24 that the multinational company would be offering its services free of charge. There was also no conflict of interest, despite Enel's involvement with several renewable power projects with Eskom. 

Government is under pressure to fix Eskom after recent load shedding, amid plant breakdown and low emergency reserves of diesel and water. 

Lackay said Eskom and the department were in the process of establishing a team of experts, including South African engineers who formerly worked at Eskom, and that they would be assisted by Denel. 

Urgent action

The team will go to individual power stations to determine exactly what should be done on an urgent basis, Lackay added.

The South African experts are also offering their services free of charge in the spirit of ‘Thuma Mina’ (send me). 

Eskom’s chairperson Jabu Mabuza told Fin24 via WhatsApp that the scope and content of the audit were in the process of being defined.  

"This will determine the level of detail the assessment will involve," he said.

"The experts are likely to be a group of engineers from different entities and bringing different expertise," Mabuza wrote. 

Mbuza added that the team would balance the required skills with good governance practices, including managing any perceived conflicts.

"At this stage, no formal engagement has been concluded with any party. Many of Eskom’s stakeholders have put up their hands to assist and as such the process now is to put together the best team to assist with the challenges at hand," Mabuza commented.

Enel is Europe’s largest utility company by market value. It has several wind and solar projects in SA under its subsidiary Enel Green Power SA (EGP RSA).

Two solar plants operated by EGP RSA were awarded 20 year power supply agreement with Eskom in 2014 as part of the Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme, or REIPPPP tender.  

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