File image: IOL.
JOHANNESBURG - Talks to end the delay in the conclusion of renewable energy power purchase agreements are set to resume later this month, according to Eskom.

Eskom, the designated buyer of power from independent power producers (IPPs), has delayed signing the power purchase agreements with 27 IPPs, citing concerns about the cost of renewable energy and current overcapacity.

Eskom interim chief executive Sean Maritz last month said that the Public Finance Management Act required Eskom to raise risks in the conclusion of the IPP power deals if there were any.

“We need to create a sustainable Eskom for the future. We need to, from a fiduciary point of view, raise the risks,” said Maritz.

Also read: IPP impasse still not settled

Eskom spokesperson Khulu Phasiwe said yesterday that the discussions between the Departments of Energy, Public Enterprises, National Treasury and Eskom were expected to resume during the course of this month “with the aim of finding a win-win solution in signing the power purchase agreements with the independent power producers. Once the discussions are concluded, the Department of Energy, as the policymaker, will announce the way forward and Eskom will implement that decision.”

Phasiwe said that Eskom supported the role of the renewable energy IPPs as envisaged in the government’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producers Programme.

Meanwhile, Eskom has refuted allegations that the outcome of disciplinary processes against executives Matshela Koko and Prish Govender was a whitewash. Several organisations, including Business Leadership of South Africa, have slammed the integrity of Koko’s disciplinary process, branding it a sham.

“Eskom wishes to unequivocally state that this disciplinary hearing was conducted in a fair, professional, and transparent manner, with the media being granted permission to attend in a matter that would ordinarily be treated as an internal matter.

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“It is worth noting that the chairperson of the hearing, together with the evidence leaders from both parties, are competent and independent professionals who belong to highly regulated organisations that would take a dim view of any misconduct by anyone of their members,” said Phasiwe.

Koko returned to his old job as head of generation yesterday after the power utility cleared him of a handful of misconduct charges. Govender, on the other hand, returned to his acting head of group capital job after an Eskom-initiated investigation cleared him of wrongdoing.