Business News 9.9.2016 11:06 am

Brown lauds Eskom leadership as Medupi unit lights up

FILE PICTURE: The view from boiler unit six at the Medupi power plant.
Picture: Desiree Swart

FILE PICTURE: The view from boiler unit six at the Medupi power plant. Picture: Desiree Swart

The public enterprises minister says Eskom’s net profit of R4.6 billion for the past financial year enhances its sustainability.

Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown had high praise for Eskom CEO Brian Molefe and chairperson Ben Ngubane on Friday after the Medupi power plant’s Unit 5 was synchronised to the electricity grid.

Brown said their inspirational leadership had turned the embattled utility around. The unit adds an additional 800 megawatts to the grid and is expected to become commercially operational by March 2018.

“The board headed by Dr. Ben Ngubane and the group chief executive officer, Mr Brian Molefe, has successfully steered Eskom through difficult times. I want to congratulate them and their staff for their commitment to the country.

“They have managed to turn Eskom around and placed the company on a sound operational and financial footing compared to a year ago.”

Brown noted that Eskom was able to report a net profit of R4.6 billion for the past financial year and said this enhanced the sustainability of the company, while the grid had been stabilised to such an extent that South Africa had a reliable electricity supply.

“What we are seeing is a culmination of visionary leadership that placed Eskom in a much stronger position.

“Over the past 18 months, we have seen 1 800MW being added to the grid and the newly built programme will add 8 600 MW of new capacity by 2020/21. Over and above the added power supply, Eskom has invested R289.5 billion (excluding capitalised borrowing costs) on its capacity expansion programme since 2005,” Brown said.

“Mr Molefe has managed to revitalise Eskom by assembling and leading a dynamic executive team. There is a new sense of urgency and a drive to succeed at Eskom.”

– African News Agency (ANA)

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