As Eskom searches for new leadership, it says it will no longer have a chief operating officer.

The Eskom board says the process of finding a new chief executive officer (CEO) is well under way.

Current CEO André de Ruyter announced his resignation in December, and will be stepping down officially from April.

Speaking at a media briefing on Thursday evening, the board’s Mteto Nyathi said the nominations committee should have a list of possible candidates quite soon

“The company has been hard at work and they will be presenting to the nomination committee a longlist in the next two weeks. That’s the beginning of the process, and then we will end up with a shortlist at some point.”

Turning to chief operating officer (COO) Jan Oberholzer, who is retiring in April, Nyathi said the board was looking at not replacing him. He said it was considering where Eskom would be headed and the looming unbundling of the different entities.

“Also looking back at where we’re coming from, this phenomena of having a COO is something new at Eskom. Given those considerations, we will not be having a COO.”

With Eskom promising reduced load shedding this weekend, there are still concerns about the overall wellbeing of the utility’s infrastructure, particularly at the Medupi and Kusile power stations

Eskom reduced load shedding to stage four on Friday morning after recording an improvement in its power generating capacity.

The current level of power cuts will run until 5am on Saturday, whereafter stage three load shedding will be implemented until 5 am on Sunday.

But major concerns about the state of Eskom’s infrastructure remain.

Energy analyst Hartmut Winkler said the problem was with the Kusile power station.

“Kusile one is just not finished yet, and the other three had this technical problem, which will really lay it low for something like a year or so. Making funds available may help in some instances but I’m not sure how it’s going to speed up the process there.”

And he said Medupi was also affected because one unit was not working there.

Both power stations were meant to be the answer to the country’s power supply deficit. But years later, problems remain.

By: Bernadette Wicks & Ray White

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