JOHANNESBURG  -  African Rainbow Energy and Power chief executive Brian Dames has stepped down from a task force set up by President Cyril Ramaphosa to help ensure the sustainability of state power utility Eskom, the Presidency said on Wednesday.

"Mr Dames has noted concerns raised regarding a perceived conflict of interest relating to the scope of work and terms of reference of the Eskom Sustainability Task Team," Ramaphosa's office said.

"Based on these concerns, Mr Dames has requested to be released from the task team."

The Presidency said last week Ramaphosa had appointed the eight-person task team, including former Eskom executive Dames, to advise the government on how to handle the financial and operational crises at cash-strapped Eskom.

“The debt swap that Eskom has come up with is just going to descend us into further deeper debt as a country, so we have said we need to look at other options,” Ramaphosa said in an interview on 702 Talk Radio.

During the interview, Ramaphosa  acknowledged that the power utility is in desperate need of help.

- African News Agency (ANA)