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Eight new senior appointments at cash-strapped Eskom

12 January 2019 - 14:39 By AMIL UMRAW
Eight new senior appointments have been made at Eskom. File photo
Eight new senior appointments have been made at Eskom. File photo
Image: Times Media

Despite putting at least ten senior executives under the axe in a bid to trim employees and minimise its bloated top management, Eskom has appointed eight executives and senior managers to a new operations team.

According to an internal memorandum seen by Sunday Times, the eight appointments were made in high-paying posts such as group executives, general managers and chief officers.

The operations team consists of the following executive appointments: Segomoco Scheppers as group executive for transmission; Lindi Mthombeni as acting group executive for distribution; and Andrew Etzinger as acting group executive for generation.

Naresh Singh was also appointed as an acting general manager for Africa strategy; Riedewaan Bakardien as Eskom’s chief nuclear officer; Bheki Nxumalo as acting CEO of Eskom’s Rotek Industries; Titus Mathe as general manager for group technology; and Rochelle Chetty as a senior manager in the office of the COO.

In December last year, Sunday Times reported that at least ten senior executives, who were responsible for the day-to-day running of the business and reported directly to the chief executive officer, were facing the axe as the cash-strapped parastatal moves to reduce the number of top management.  

At the time, Eskom’s spokesman, Khulu Phasiwe, said something had to be done to decrease the energy producer’s cost base and that the unions, in a bid to save workers’ jobs, had singled out management structures if retrenchments were to take place.

Phasiwe this week confirmed that the number of senior executives reporting to the CEO has been reduced from 21 to nine.

He said retrenchments were only limited to the executive level and that some vacancies were left open after the executives occupying them had resigned.

According to Eskom’s interim results for the six months ending September 30 last year, Eskom’s profit before tax reduced to R1bn from R8.9bn the year before. Employee costs also rose 12% to R16.9bn, up from R15.1bn in the same period in 2017.

According to the memorandum, Eskom’s imminent priorities are: plant and network performance; coal stock levels; capital projects; leadership, human capital and morale; and accountability and performance management.

The energy provider is currently dealing with 207 reported cases of fraud and corruption.

It plans to deal with fraud and mismanagement at all levels, including what is described as “unacceptable contracts” in place which result in the parastatal forking out more than double the retail value for tea, coffee and milk for staff.

This endeavour will also see a clamp down on staff who take extended tea and lunch breaks, attend to private business during work hours, or abuse their telephone and internet privileges.