Molefe: “Eskom is not insolvent”

BY CHARL BOSCH - AUGUST 11, 2015

State-owned parastatal Eskom has registered a net profit of R3.6-billion with a reported 1.8-gigawatt being provided by independent power producers.

In tabling the utility’s annual integrated results at Megawatt Park in Johannesburg earlier this morning, Acting CEO Brain Molefe said while it managed to achieve internal cost saving and raise R49.5-billion in external funding, around R20-billion is still needed.

He added that the majority of outstanding funds are as a result of municipal debt (up from R2.6-billion in March 2014 to R5-billion in March 2015), and that R27-billion was generated from operations, while capital investment stood at R64-billion.

“Eskom is not in a hopeless situation. It is good that we have such large capital expenditure now - as it is about additional capacity for the grid,” Molefe said.

“Our operations are not fundamentally flawed - it is the funding for capital expenditure etc. that push us into a negative position. We do not think Eskom is insolvent”.

With a reported 1.9-million tons of coal having been burned during the 2014 / 2015 financial year, Molefe stated that Eskom would be bringing a number of units online for 2016 / 2017 in an attempted to reduce load shedding as a means of carrying out repairs on aging infrastructure.

Last week, Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Browne announced the country could expect imposed rolling blackouts to continue for another 18 months.

“It is important to prepare for re-energising and growing of the company and we are making significant progress,” he said.

“We will continue to maintain our plants with minimal load shedding. We will continue to catch up on maintenance and to reduce the average age of our fleet”.