OPINION

Decisive leadership at Eskom needed – AfriForum

Eugene Brink says SOE's new leadership must now focus on outcomes rather than promises

AfriForum asks for decisive leadership at Eskom after more losses and irregularities

24 July 2018 

The civil rights organisation AfriForum is of the opinion that Eskom’s leadership must act far more decisively to turn around the struggling energy supplier. Eskom announced that it recorded a pre-tax loss of R2,6 billion and irregular spending of nearly R20 billion during the 2017/2018 financial year.

Dr Eugene Brink, Strategic Advisor for Community Affairs at AfriForum, says although the new directors’ and management’s effort and honesty must be appreciated, there are still much too little to get excited about. “They have at least now included all the irregular expenditures since 2012 and taking into account how state capture worked at Eskom, it is no surprise that it is now this much,” says Brink.

He is of the opinion that Eskom is looking for the truth, but the results are qualified and therefore not necessarily complete or correct. “This can also be a way to only let the irregular expenditures of the 2017/2018 financial years disappear in previous years’ irregular spending and mismanagement. Each year must be judged upon its own merits and thereafter the debt can be allotted to the particular parties.

There are still too many promises of how things will be turned around and too little evidence of how corruption and other challenges will be addressed. Out of about 250 complaints from whistle blowers there are currently still only ten criminal charges laid and the public does not know how and against whom action is being taken,” says Brink.

He says that Eskom must now deliver evidence of how the irregular spending and other problems at the electricity supplier will be addressed. “They have at least been in the saddle since the beginning of the year and although things at Eskom will not be turned around overnight, they must now focus on outcomes rather than promises. Better future financial results will however address the current problems.

AfriForum will ask Eskom about these results and will continue to act on behalf of the public and businesses as a watchdog for accountability at Eskom,” Brink concludes.

Issued by Marelie Greeff, Media Relations Officer, AfriForum, 24 July 2018