Meet Eskom COO Jan Oberholzer: A man in SA’s power hot chair

Meet Eskom COO Jan Oberholzer: A man in SA’s power hot chair

JOHANNESBURG — With news that Eskom is anticipating to load shed in very early January once again, it would appear that the energy that is embattled dark times are far from over. The organization is saddled with huge financial obligation and extremely dirty, outdated coal plant technology. It’s a financial catastrophe waiting to take place. But because SA is full of monopolies (while the ANC federal government is intent on perpetuating them) South Africans sit with a massive issue on their fingers that is needlessly self-created. Nevertheless, there are numerous significantly more than capable individuals inside Eskom therefore the COO Jan Oberholzer seems to have a feeling of rationality pertaining to the continuing future of the state-owned electric company. In this meeting, EE publishers Chris that is’ Yelland Roger Lilly swept up with him. – Gareth van Zyl

By Chris Yelland and Roger Lilley*

A energizing openness by Eskom’s management that is new been demonstrated in a unique meeting with Eskom COO Mr Jan Oberholzer by EE writers. The meeting used dramatic developments within the operations of Eskom this present year, like the decrease into the utility’s generation plant performance, shortages of coal at energy channels in Mpumalanga, the return of phase 2 (2,000 MW) load losing – with rolling blackouts around the world for per week ahead of the xmas festive season, therefore the statement by the COO of a nine-point want to deal with the functional dilemmas.

Mr Oberholzer, please is it possible to explain the functions and lines of authority between your Eskom CEO, COO, CFO along with other Eskom Exco people? Whom states to who?

Eskom’s structure that is new constructed on three pillars: strategy, finance and operations. Generally speaking, CEO Phakamani Hadebe may be the face of Eskom, accountable for strategy, appropriate and business affairs, recruiting and reputation administration. CFO Calib Cassim accounts for the funds, liquidity, finance, loans, treasury, opportunities, real-estate, different help solutions and general control that is financial. As COO, i will be accountable for all Eskom’s operations: generation, transmission and circulation of electricity, main power, coal and water, team money (including new-build jobs), Rotek Industries, Eskom Enterprises, Eskom Research, Testing & Development (RT&D), danger and sustainability, amongst others. Eskom has ready A exco that is new organogram and I also will share this to you whenever finalised.

Exactly what are the biggest problems Eskom that is currently facing problems will you be in charge of, and exactly just exactly what keeps you awake during the night?

The greatest problems dealing with Eskom are: financial obligation, liquidity and sustainability that is financial individuals problems – with individuals being our most critical asset, ensuring sufficient coal materials, decreasing generation plant performance and supply – triggered by planned upkeep outages, unplanned breakdowns and plant operating with reduced production than ranked, and fast-rising municipal and Soweto arrear debt. From my place, my best issues would be the generation that is poor performance, ensuring sufficient coal materials when confronted with high export costs, as well as the threat of rainfall at the moment Vista escort twitter. We actually have less than 30GW of available capacity – and the country’s load is more than 30GW while we have some 45GW of installed generation capacity at our disposal. Therefore, for the present time, we’re grateful for the yuletide season where need is paid off. In connection with individuals problems, my issues are to make certain accountability by line supervisors, and having the best individuals with the proper mixture of abilities into the right destination, especially within generation.

Some would state the operational dilemmas at Eskom could be addressed offered effort that is sufficient money and time, but that the economic and ecological dilemmas presently dealing with Eskom are intractable. Could you concur?

Yes, i actually do agree totally that whenever we are diligent, so we have the cash as well as the right individuals, we could resolve the functional issues – no doubt about this. But running in a full world of serious monetary constraints, massive financial obligation and quickly increasing municipal and also worldwide arear financial obligation is a large challenge, in addition to CFO will be better positioned to comment further with this. On ecological sustainability, you will find huge dilemmas concerning the burning of coal. Can we simply trade our way to avoid it associated with situation that is current? No, we believe we’re going to want to do some plain things really differently towards the means they are done before – structurally, economically and environmentally.

Can you think Eskom could be came back to its previous glory, or perhaps is this a backward looking pipe-dream in the fundamentally changed and changing realm of power?

No, we usually do not think the last may be recaptured with Eskom keeping its present type as being a vertically incorporated monopoly. Can Eskom enhance its reputation, confidence and performance? Yes, i really believe we are able to, but we now have a large amount of strive to do in order to accomplish that, including training and abilities development. The planet changed somewhat since those previous times, and you will find pressures for improvement in the power sector. The present framework as being a vertically incorporated business and solitary electricity customer may possibly not be the structure that is best and business design money for hard times, and force from industry w209
ill force Eskom to alter to match the brand new realities. Our president, Mr Jabu Mabuza, has recently stated that the Eskom operations of generation, transmission and distribution might in the future be ring-fenced and addressed as independent devices with a small business focus, with line supervisors empowered to help make the necessary choices for success, and held in charge of the outcomes.

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