South Africa’s Electricity Crisis:
The Way ForwardDate: 06 May 2019Time: 17:30 for 18:00
Venue: Boardroom 1, UCT GSB,
9 Portswood road, Green Point
Eskom is in deep trouble. It has been struggling to keep the lights on. Capabilities and skills have been hollowed out after a decade of state capture and rent-seeking. It is not generating enough cash to cover both operations and its cost of capital. It has a mountain of debt, yet is borrowing more, in part to service its principal and interest payments on its existing debt. And its sales are declining as alternatives become more attractive. What is to be done? The immediate focus has to be on rebuilding management and engineering capabilities within Eskom, re-instating proper maintenance practices, compressing costs, financial restructuring and new debt-raising strategies. But Eskom will also have to change its business model if it is to survive. Restructuring will set the sector on a new path, accelerate investment and facilitate competition. The market for distributed power generation also needs to be freed-up so that a multitude of small, innovative power investments can take pressure off the grid and improve supply security. Prof Eberhard will provide a diagnosis of current challenges and outline the reforms that will be necessary for a sustainable utility and power sector of the future.