Eskom unbundling won’t solve its financial crisis: Analyst

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Energy expert Ted Blom says the unbundling of Eskom into three components will not solve its financial crisis.

The Power utility is in dire straits after the China Development Bank failed to release a R7 billion loan last month.

National Treasury had approved an emergency bailout of R17,6 billion to Eskom following the failed loan payout. However, Blom says the cash will do little to fix the massive problems at Eskom.

“It’s just going to increase Eskom’s costs. You’re going to have three boards, three auditors, three head offices and three sets of personnel – it’s just kicking the can down the road. It’s not a solution.

He adds, “The loan that they’re talking about will only last two months. Eskom burns just from the salary bill about R4 billion a month. So that’s beside the capital project Kusile, Medupi, the refurbishment which they have undertaken from all power stations which will cost at least another R30 billion. So I think Eskom is living from hand to mouth and South Africans are being taken for a fool because we are the ones who gonna end up funding this whole mess.”

Last week, energy analyst and Managing Director of EE Publishers, Chris Yelland highlighted that the power utility has lost people with appropriate skills to run the organisation.

“The loss of those skills is devastating to Eskom. It is important for Eskom to attract people with the right skills from within the country and abroad because solutions will not be found in textbooks but rather in the correct expertise,” Blom explains.

Meanwhile,  Finance Minister Tito Mboweni on Sunday denied reports that Maria Ramos has been appointed to take charge of Eskom’s unbundling.  This after it was reported that Ramos had been appointed to lead the process to split Eskom into three separate entities – namely: generation, transmission and distribution.

Mboweni said no one has been appointed so far but that Ramos is among those being considered.

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