More than just a dark Christmas awaitsDecember 24, 2022
“All I want for Christmas is a solution to the power crisis.” These are the words many South Africans are screaming from the roof tops as they face the prospect of a dark Christmas.
While Eskom yesterday insisted they would do their best to keep the lights on for Christmas Day using emergency reserves, the power utility said they could only make a decision early tomorrow whether load shedding would be suspended, keeping everyone’s plans on hold.
This festive period aside, our future does not look rosy when it comes to the power crisis. Eskom chief executive André de Ruyter resigned this month. He’ll leave at the end of March.
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Eskom chief operating officer Jan Oberholzer is to go on retirement in April, and acting group executive for generation Rhulani Mathebula resigned last month. No company can take big hits like that and run optimally straight away.
As EE Business Intelligence managing director Chris Yelland said: “We shouldn’t have undue expectations of a saviour coming along from the new CEO.”
Experts have also warned replacing De Ruyter will take a long time, with some suggesting it could take six months. The Eskom board only have three months.
Dr John Wentzel, CEO of listed recruitment giant Adcorp, said: “Eskom sits with, unfortunately, the reputation it has [developed] over the past decade. It may take them longer to identify candidates and that’s just going to delay the process. I think they are going to face a challenge, because of what’s happened, in finding candidates.”
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South Africans are known for being resilient. We roll with the punches and thrive no matter the obstacles hurled in our way daily.
However, Eskom needs direction fast so we can find solutions to the power crisis soon. It’s probably not wise to only worry about a dark Christmas. Many dark days lie ahead.