South African electricity power utility Eskom has decided to lay off several of its top executives bringing the number to nine from twenty-one in wake of mounting financial pressure. The CEO Phakamani Hadebe on Sunday announced the company has already approved the reorganization of the top management structure following a retrenchment process.
“It is crucial that we set ourselves up for the future, and I believe that the steps we’ve take so far are already placing us on a path towards stability,” Hadebe said in an internal memo obtained by Reuters.
However, the names of the executives who will bid goodbye to the power utility have not yet been announced. According to Eye Witness News, Dave Nicholls, the head of nuclear energy at Eskom, is among the officials who will be leaving the company. Nicholls, who was due to retire in 2019, will be leaving the company at the end of the month.
Eskom, which supplies most of SA’s electricity, is currently going through a major financial crisis as it continues to rack up debt in its efforts to provide enough power for the national grid. The utility reintroduced load shedding in recent months due to dubious coal shortages, unplanned breakdowns, and deteriorating power plants. The company has reportedly massed R419bn of debt in the past 10 years and the same is projected to rise to R600bn over three years if appropriate measures to control the debt levels are not taken.
Amid Eskom’s top management reshuffle, the company has assured people that there will be no load shedding during this festive season as maintenance work is being carried out at all of its power generating units and its coal supplies have also improved. But, it warned that the situation may change when schools reopen in January.
Eskom spokesperson Khulu Phasiwe said people should enjoy the festive season for now without worrying about January.
“We cannot say there will be load shedding, we don’t want people to start panicking about January,” Phasiwe said.