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Meet Eskom COO Jan Oberholzer: A man in SA’s power seat that is hot

Meet Eskom COO Jan Oberholzer: A man in SA’s power seat that is hot

JOHANNESBURG — With news that Eskom is anticipating to load shed in very early January once again, it would appear that the embattled power provider’s dark times are far from over. The business is saddled with huge financial obligation and incredibly dirty, outdated coal plant technology. It’s a financial catastrophe waiting to occur. But because SA is full of monopolies (in addition to ANC federal federal government is intent on perpetuating them) South Africans sit having a massive issue on their fingers which has been needlessly self-created. Nonetheless, there are many significantly more than capable individuals inside Eskom and also the COO Jan Oberholzer seems to have a feeling of rationality pertaining to the continuing future of the state-owned utility company. In this meeting, EE publishers Chris that is’ Yelland Roger Lilly trapped with him. – Gareth van Zyl

By Chris Yelland and Roger Lilley*

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A energizing openness by Eskom’s management that is new been demonstrated in a special meeting with Eskom COO Mr Jan Oberholzer by EE writers. The meeting observed dramatic developments when you look at the operations of Eskom in 2010, like the decrease within the utility’s generation plant performance, shortages of coal at energy channels in Mpumalanga, the return of phase 2 (2,000 MW) load losing – with rolling blackouts in the united states for per week ahead of the xmas yuletide season, as well as the announcement by the COO of the nine-point intend to deal with the functional dilemmas.

Mr Oberholzer, please are you able to make clear the functions and lines of authority involving the Eskom CEO, COO, CFO along with other Eskom Exco users? whom states to who?

Eskom’s new structure is constructed on three pillars: strategy, finance and operations. Generally speaking, CEO Phakamani Hadebe could be the face of Eskom, in charge of strategy, appropriate and affairs that are corporate recruiting and reputation administration. CFO Calib Cassim is in charge of the amount of money, liquidity, finance, loans, treasury, opportunities, real-estate, different help solutions and general monetary control. As COO, i will be in charge of all Eskom’s operations: generation, transmission and circulation of electricity, www xmatch com main power, coal and water, group money (which includes new-build tasks), Rotek Industries, Eskom Enterprises, Eskom Research, Testing & Development (RT&D), danger and sustainability, and others. Eskom has ready A exco that is new organogram and I also will share this to you whenever finalised.

Exactly what are the biggest problems presently dealing with Eskom, which dilemmas are you currently in charge of, and exactly exactly exactly just what keeps you awake during the night?

The greatest dilemmas dealing with Eskom are: financial obligation, liquidity and monetary sustainability, individuals problems – with individuals being our vital asset, ensuring sufficient coal materials, decreasing generation plant performance and accessibility – caused by planned upkeep outages, unplanned breakdowns and plant operating with reduced production than ranked, and fast-rising municipal and Soweto arrear debt. From my place, my best issues would be the generation that is poor performance, ensuring sufficient coal materials when confronted with high export costs, additionally the threat of rain at the moment. Although we involve some 45GW of installed generation ability at our disposal, we actually have actually lower than 30GW of available capacity – plus the country’s load is more than 30GW. Therefore, for the present time, we have been grateful for the holiday season where need is paid down. In connection with individuals dilemmas, my issues are to make sure accountability by line supervisors, and having just the right people who have just the right mixture of skills within the right destination, specially within generation.

Some will say the functional dilemmas at Eskom may be addressed provided adequate work, money and time, but that the monetary and ecological problems presently dealing with Eskom are intractable. Can you concur?

Yes, i actually do concur that whenever we are diligent, and we also have the funds and also the right individuals, we could resolve the functional issues – no doubt about this. But running in a full world of serious monetary constraints, massive financial obligation and quickly increasing municipal and also worldwide arear financial obligation is a huge challenge, while the CFO will be better positioned to comment further with this. On ecological sustainability, you can find huge problems associated with the burning of coal. Can we simply trade our solution regarding the present situation? No, we believe we’ll need to do some things really differently to your way they are done before – structurally, economically and environmentally.

Would you think Eskom could be gone back to its previous glory, or perhaps is this a pipe-dream that is backward looking the basically changed and changing world of power?

No, we usually do not think days gone by may be recaptured with Eskom keeping its present type as being a vertically incorporated monopoly. Can Eskom improve its reputation, confidence and performance? Yes, I think we are able to, but we now have a large amount of work to do in order to accomplish this, including training and abilities development. The entire world changed considerably since those previous times, and you will find pressures for improvement in the power sector. The existing framework as being a vertically incorporated company and solitary electricity customer is almost certainly not the most useful framework and business design money for hard times, and stress from industry w209
ill force Eskom to alter to accommodate the realities that are new. Our president, Mr Jabu Mabuza, has recently stated that the Eskom operations of generation, transmission and circulation might in future be ring-fenced and addressed as independent devices with a small business focus, with line supervisors empowered to help make the decisions that are necessary success, and held responsible for the outcomes.

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