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Brown: Eskom board's baptism of fire - as it happened

2015-04-15 12:59

Minister Lynne Brown wants a board that has banking and legal experience as well as engineering expertise as she seeks to solve the problems facing the utility.


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Last Updated at 03:55
15 Apr 14:39

15 Apr 14:38
From Fin24 user Lisa Kitching: There is immense frustration for those who are continuously affected in the evening time slots. Can't Eskom at least rotate the time slots for different stages? The City of Cape Town gets it right, why can't  the rest of them (the municipalities) do the same? It is frustrating to say the least. Just be fair to those who get hit at the hardest of times - like the evening slots. That's all we ask. It will make it easier for us to cooperate with Eskom.

15 Apr 14:36

15 Apr 14:35
From Fin24 user Rocco de Villiers: Why does Eskom wants to retain the monopoly of electricity power supply if the can't deliver?   If more private home owners install photovoltaic power generating equipment, and are paid for their excess electricity, it will make more business sense to follow that route. The spin off will be job creation, as well as more power available to the electricity grid.   This attitude of Eskom is busy ruining the economy.

15 Apr 14:14
Brown: There are four engineers on the board. What do boards do? They are not in the trenches. I want fiduciary responsibility. I don’t people running their businesses from the board who see an opportunity and run for it. I want some technical knowledge. We have someone working in banking. I have legal people. I want people who electrical engineers. They don’t have to put up an electrical pole.

15 Apr 14:14
Brown: We're not in this situation because I am in the job.

15 Apr 14:14
Brown: The board told me last week that there were two companies that qualified for the inquiry and as soon they make a decision it will be announced. A deep dig sounds like it will be cloak and dagger but it won't be. I really want it to be independent and transparent.

15 Apr 14:07
Brown: There is no way that Eskom can do this on its own. We do need labour to hear us a bit more.

15 Apr 14:07
Brown: It's companies that Eskom has outsourced to. I was very pleased that we had reached an agreement.

15 Apr 14:06
Brown: I am very concerned about the (labour unrest) at Medupi. One of the issues with the delay at Medupi and Kusile is due to labour issues.

15 Apr 14:04
Brown: The board is young as it was appointed in December, so it has gone through a baptism of fire. We still need to appoint two more members, such as a CA.

15 Apr 14:04
Brown: The greatest achievement of the War Room was bringing the various departments together that had issues around energy constraints.

15 Apr 14:03
Brown: The liquidity of Eskom was the first issue that the War Room dealt with - looking at funding from World Bank, etc.

15 Apr 14:00

15 Apr 13:58
Brown: It is a problem and one that we want to eradicate quite rapidly.

15 Apr 13:58
Brown: It is worrying that if they are not consistent with maintenance ... then you will have unplanned outages.

15 Apr 13:58
Brown: Diesel was running quite low in the last couple of weeks.

15 Apr 13:57

15 Apr 13:56
Brown: Eskom is quite serious about switching off defaulting municipalities.

15 Apr 13:54
From Fin24 user Lisette Lillywhite: Does Lynne Brown even have a qualification in electricity?  I don’t care how much money Eskom is losing – they have been USING all the money to pay themselves BONUSES  - I have had enough of their excuses.

15 Apr 13:54
Fin24 user Christo Mulder writes:  We would all like to know who is going to be the individuals responsible for the 20 municipalities that are going to be cut off. We as PAYING citizens cannot be held accountable for the lack of payment from the municipal officials. Fire them.

15 Apr 13:54
Brown: Many companies work for Eskom. I really do want an independent assessment into Eskom.

15 Apr 13:53
Brown: We cannot tell you how much the big industries are shedding due to our confidentiality agreement with them. Big industries shed 10% of their usage whenever there is load shedding.

15 Apr 13:50
Brown: I am going to be making an announcement about Eskom's leadership quite soon.

15 Apr 13:49
Brown: They often defer maintenance. It's not Eskom doing maintenance, but it's the private sector that is doing the maintenance.

15 Apr 13:49
Brown: I want a deep dive into Eskom. Don't you? Don't you want to know what's inside Eskom. It's one of the third largest utilities of its kind in the world. That's why I am only giving them three month. At least I want to know its liquidity, I want to know how the maintenance is going. I think we need to stick to maintenance - even in winter.

15 Apr 13:48
Brown: I am told Eskom is in trouble, but then when the month comes, it doesn't come.

15 Apr 13:47
Brown: Eskom made a profit of R8bn last year, but because we had to pay R1bn a month for diesel, it worked against Eskom.

15 Apr 13:44
Brown: For the next two years, we will have load shedding. We hope the economy will manage around that.

15 Apr 13:43
Brown: A decision has been made to move from diesel to gas and the department of energy is looking for that source.

15 Apr 13:42
Brown: I am digging deep into Eskom for three months to find factual information about what is happening at Eskom.

15 Apr 13:42

15 Apr 13:41

15 Apr 13:41
Just in From Fin24 user Naasir Abrahams: It’s hard to cope if you have kids that must eat, do homework and and and…..when you have no electricity every night from 18h00 to 22h00.

15 Apr 13:38
Business chamber expresses hope over Eskom

15 Apr 13:37
Brown: Because the fleet is old and many of the power stations are older than 30 years. Their lifespan is normally 50 years. Some of the stations are only supposed to be used in peak times. Keep the Lights on for the World Cup was a huge issue. Now we have to balance the grid.

15 Apr 13:34
Brown: We need a master plan about what the end stage should be. The Department of Energy is working on that and we will feed into that. That will answer the other question: what is the end state of Eskom? In essence, it will come as part of the master plan.

15 Apr 13:34
Brown: Sourcing of energy falls within the department of energy. My department is an implementer of policy decisions.

15 Apr 13:33
Brown: We have to build 3000km of transmission lines. Part of the reason for that, during the renewable IPP process, some of the plants went to where Eskom didn't have transmission lines. But a contract was signed that Eskom would be an off taker of the project. From the renewable IPPs, we use 1000MW and it has to increase to over 2000MW.

15 Apr 13:31
Brown: The solar water heater programme has moved to DOE. There are technical issues like moving staff members from Eskom to DOE.

15 Apr 13:30
Brown: The issue around diesel usage is something I want to investigate. The other issue is the cost of coal and its supply to the country. The other issue is the liquidity of the company.

15 Apr 13:28
Brown: The fleet's are aging, we have to load shed to balance the grid out, and the thing is, we have to ensure we don't go over to stage 4. It's only for a few hours that we ask customers to go offline. In essence, that is what is happening.

15 Apr 13:27

15 Apr 13:26
Be part of our LIVE updates. How are you coping (or not) with load shedding?

15 Apr 13:25

15 Apr 13:23
Brown: I would like to call on all people to join the effort to save electricity.

15 Apr 13:22
Brown: Business has come on board remarkably to help find solutions

15 Apr 13:22
Brown: On behalf of government, I apologise for the inconvenience this is causing.

15 Apr 13:21
Brown updates media about the various developments that show positive signs that Eskom is recovering to a reliable power generator.

15 Apr 13:20

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