Executive suspensions and more load shedding at Eskom

Executive suspensions and more load shedding at Eskom Eskom has faced increasing criticism for its failure to prevent blackouts and for delays in bringing Mepudi power plant on-stream. (Image source: Gavin Fordham/Flickr)South African state-owned power utility, Eskom, has warned customers to expect more blackouts today

The company, who has come under increasing criticism in recent years for failing to prevent load shedding, warned of a ‘medium probability’ of power cuts during the day today, rising to a ‘high probability’ this evening.

The warning came on the back of news late last week that the firm had suspended four top executives, including recently appointed CEO Tshediso Matona, pending the results of an independent enquiry into the company’s recent performance.

The enquiry will focus on cash flow challenges, high costs and delays in bringing the new Medupi power plant on-stream, with the external parties who will carry out the investigation to be selected this week.

Eskom chairman Zola Tsotsi said, "To ensure that this process is as transparent and uninhibited as possible, the Board has also resolved that four of its senior executives, including the chief executive, should step down for the duration of this enquiry."

The other suspended executives are Eskom’s finance director Tsholofelo Molefe, group capital executive Dan Marokane and commercial and technology executive Matshela Koko.

“We would like to assure our customers and employees that this was done in the best interest of all our stakeholders, and we hope to come out of this with a better grasp of all the challenges facing the business, and most importantly, with solutions", Tsotsi added.

The recent 2015 Investing in Africa Mining Indaba in Cape Town was dominated by concerns over power shortages, with MetCon CEO Bernerd Stern warning that blackouts threatened economic growth and foreign investment if they persist.

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