Eskom Turnaround Strategy Revealed

A leaked document shows in detail how Eskom plans to turn around its fortunes.

The document was published by EE Publishers, which said it was presented on Thursday to the Eskom Executive Forum, a group of about 600 senior Eskom managers and executives, by acting Eskom CEO Jabu Mabuza.

The document states that Eskom ran out of cash and came close to complete collapse on multiple occasions this year.

It adds that an Eskom collapse would have devastating consequences for South Africa.

The turnaround plan presented by Mabuza has five focus areas.

The first area is on debt relief of R130bn from government over three years and long-term debt restructuring.

The second step entails revenue management, where government is expected to impose above-inflation tariff increases while Eskom and government will both focus on improved collection.

The third focus area is on the separation of Eskom into three businesses: generation, distribution and transmission. The plan showed that legal separation could take a total of four years

The fourth area of focus is on cost reduction of R33bn a year across the entire value chain, while the fifth focus is on operational stability, including improved security of supply.

Eskom said in a statement on Friday that the utility had met with its organised labour unions – the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) and Solidarity – to share the company’s turnaround strategy.

“We took the unions through Eskom’s turnaround strategy and agreed that further discussions would take place as we plan and move forward as a collective,” Mabuza was quoted as saying.

“If there is one thing I want to have accomplished when I leave this post in the next 10 weeks, it is to have created an environment where Eskom and unions are able to have more frank and robust discussions about the future of Eskom.”

The company said the unions had asked for additional information from Eskom, “which we will provide”.

They in turn have agreed to “take the information presented to them, digest it and revert”.

Discussions will also be held with other stakeholders, said Eskom.