Meet Eskom COO Jan Oberholzer: A man in SA’s power hot chair

Meet Eskom COO Jan Oberholzer: A man in SA’s power hot chair

JOHANNESBURG — With news that Eskom is expecting to load shed at the beginning of January once more, it would appear that the embattled power provider’s dark times are far from over. The organization is saddled with huge financial obligation and incredibly dirty, outdated coal plant technology. It’s a financial tragedy waiting to occur. But because SA is plagued by monopolies (as well investigate the site as the ANC federal federal government is intent on perpetuating them) South Africans sit with a problem that is massive their fingers which has been needlessly self-created. Nevertheless, there are numerous significantly more than capable individuals inside Eskom therefore 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 swept up with him. – Gareth van Zyl

By Chris Yelland and Roger Lilley*

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 adopted dramatic developments within the operations of Eskom this present year, such as the decrease into 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 Christmas time festive season, and also the statement by the COO of the nine-point want to deal with the functional dilemmas.

Mr Oberholzer, please is it possible to simplify the functions and lines of authority involving the Eskom CEO, COO, CFO as well as other Eskom Exco people? Whom states to whom?

Eskom’s structure that is new constructed on three pillars: strategy, finance and operations. Generally speaking, CEO Phakamani Hadebe could be the face of Eskom, in charge of strategy, legal and affairs that are corporate hr and reputation administration. CFO Calib Cassim is in charge of the funds, liquidity, finance, loans, treasury, assets, property, different help solutions and general monetary control. As COO, i will be accountable for all Eskom’s operations: generation, transmission and circulation of electricity, main power, coal and water, team money (which include 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 with you whenever finalised.

Which are the biggest dilemmas Eskom that is currently facing dilemmas will you be accountable for, and exactly exactly what keeps you awake through the night?

The greatest dilemmas dealing with Eskom are: financial obligation, liquidity and economic sustainability, individuals problems – with individuals being our most critical asset, ensuring sufficient coal materials, decreasing generation plant performance and accessibility – triggered by planned upkeep outages, unplanned breakdowns and plant operating with lower 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 rates, plus the threat of rainfall at the moment. We actually have less than 30GW of available capacity – and the country’s load is more than 30GW while we have some 45GW of installed generation capacity at our disposal. Therefore, for the present time, our company is grateful when it comes to holiday season where need is paid down. Concerning the individuals dilemmas, my issues are to make certain accountability by line supervisors, and having the proper people who have just the right mixture of abilities when you look at the place that is right especially within generation.

Some will say the functional dilemmas at Eskom is addressed provided effort that is sufficient money and time, but that the monetary and ecological problems currently dealing with Eskom are intractable. Could you concur?

Yes, i really do concur that when we are diligent, and now we have the cash 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 as well as worldwide arear financial obligation is a large challenge, and also the CFO is better positioned to comment further with this. On ecological sustainability, you will find huge problems regarding the burning of coal. Can we simply trade our way to avoid it associated with the situation that is current? No, we believe we shall need to do some plain things extremely differently to your method they’ve been done before – structurally, economically and environmentally.

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

No, we usually do not think yesteryear may be recaptured with Eskom keeping its form that is current as vertically integrated monopoly. Can Eskom enhance its reputation, performance and self-confidence? Yes, i really believe we are able to, but we now have lots of strive to do 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 vitality sector. The existing framework as a vertically incorporated company and solitary electricity customer may possibly not be the most useful framework and business structure for future years, and force from industry w209
ill force Eskom to alter to fit 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 really make the decisions that are necessary success, and held in charge of the results.

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