Eskom Chief Executive Officer, Andre de Ruyter says the restructuring process at Eskom is still underway. However, the ‘distribution’ side of the business is proving to be complex and will need more work.
De Ruyter says the complexity of the distribution business stems from the fact that municipalities are also distributors of electricity, with their own systems in place.
He says proper governance structures also need to be defined in the restructuring plan to ensure appropriate levels of accountability. De Ruyter says the Chief Restructuring Officer’s report is yet to be submitted to the government.
Load shedding expected in coming days
Eskom has projected three days of load shedding during winter due to the vulnerability of the system. Ruyter says the lockdown has delayed the company’s plans to implement its reliability maintenance. He says the risk of load shedding remains high over the next 18 months, while the company’s maintenance program is scheduled to kick off from 1 July.
De Ruyter says Eskom has had 21 cases of COVID-19 infections thus far, with most cases recorded in the Western Cape.
Below is a breakdown of COVID-19 stats in SA:
Impact of load shedding on Eskom finances
The CEO says Eskom will not be seeking further government bailouts at this stage and is developing a plan to improve its balance sheet. This includes a number of cost-cutting measures and improvements to the generation system.
De Ruyter says Eskom’s debt still remains high at R450 billion and the company is still not able to generate enough revenue to meet its debt servicing costs.
De Ruyter emphasised that load shedding had a major cost implication for the company as well as the economy. Eskom has thus far received R23 billion of the R69 billion government bailout, to be released over a three year period.