Eskom chairman Jabu Mabuza. Screengrab.
Eskom chairman Jabu Mabuza. Screengrab.

Mabuza tells inquiry Eskom board should have foreseen load shedding

By Zintle Mahlati Time of article published Feb 22, 2019

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Johannesburg - Eskom board chair Jabu Mabuza believes the Eskom board should have foreseen the crisis of load shedding which has become a prominent feature in South Africans’ lives last year. 

Mabuza was testifying at the Zondo commission on Friday and was asked about the load shedding issue and what the board could have done to deal with it. 

He said that when the new Eskom board was appointed in January 2018 there were various issues that needed to be dealt with such as the company’s financial woes and corruption, but load shedding was not one of the issues. 

He said as such the board should have been able to foresee the disaster of unstable operational plants issues. 

“What we are having is not the problem that we had at the time and maybe we should have foreseen it. Now knowing what know we need to get people to augment or replace the current skills set to address issues of a technical nature. 

"It does concern us and that is why while we deal with issues of funding, and on the other side we are going to have to deal with the operational issues or Eskom plant, issues of the none maintenance of these plants. Things mechanical do wear and tear and the effect of that have been devastating to the economy,” said Mabuza. 

He said the previous Eskom leadership had spent very little on maintenance which has become an issue for the parastatal. The board is now focused on turning around the financial situation and also finding a solution to operational matters such as power supply. 

Citizens and businesses had to deal with load-shedding a week ago after Eskom experienced strain on its power grid. 

The previous scare of power cuts happened in In December last year and briefly during the year while Eskom workers were on strike. 

Mabuza had earlier told the commission of the millions of rand in irregular expenditure that the new Eskom board picked up when it took over. 

The board chair also spoke about the charges that were laid against former Eskom executives that the company believed should be held accountable.

Charges have been laid with the Hawks and civil claims will be laid regarding the controversial Gupta linked Tegeta coal deal.  

Mabuza had told the inquiry that Eskom was the “theatre of state capture”. 

Mabuza will continue with his testimony on Monday. 

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