Former Eskom COO warns about crime and corruption at Eskom

Jan Oberholzer

Former Eskom COO Jan Oberholzer said crime and corruption are one of the biggest challenges at the power utility.

Speaking to Nuuspod, Oberholzer said crime and corruption must be addressed to ensure that Eskom functions optimally.

Electricity Minister Kgosientsho Ramokgopa initially claimed that “unit failures have nothing to do with corruption”.

He also said that Eskom’s failure to improve its fleet’s performance “has no relationship with corruption”.

However, in July, he said that corruption and fraud at Eskom are understated despite it being so well documented.

Ramokgopa told The Money Show that corruption and fraud are only a part of Eskom’s problems, but they are by far the most well-documented.

Oberholzer believes that the electricity minister did not notice significant concerns regarding crime and corruption when he visited the power stations when he took office.

However, after a few months in office and receiving additional information, he realised the tremendous challenges around this issue.

Kgosientsho Ramokgopa
Electricity Minister Kgosientsho Ramokgopa

Five critical matters Eskom should address

Oberholzer provided a list of five critical matters Eskom should address to create a healthy company which can function optimally.

  • People – Employees are the most valuable asset for Eskom. The organisation must ensure that staff are qualified, experienced, and happy.
  • Money – There must be adequate funds for maintenance and upgrades needed at power plants.
  • Maintenance – Eskom should ensure proper maintenance to avoid unplanned breakdowns and other problems.
  • Additional capacity – Eskom needs to procure additional capacity to ensure a buffer to take generation units offline for maintenance without implementing more load-shedding.
  • Crime and Corruption – The power utility has a big problem with crime, corruption, and sabotage, which cause serious problems at Eskom.

Oberholzer said he would love to use his skills and experience to assist Eskom with procuring additional capacity.


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