Eskom has extended the timeline for its unbundling into three separate divisions for generation, transmission, and distribution.
Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan and Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter on Wednesday told Parliament that while progress was made, the unbundling process was complex, and that caution was needed.
They were briefing a joint meeting of Parliament’s public enterprises oversight committees.
The Eskom road map issued by Gordhan in October said a transmission company would be set up by December this year and legally separated by December 2021, with the unbundling of the generation and distribution entities by December 2022.
These deadlines are now pushed back, although both Gordhan and De Ruyter said progress was being made.
“We have I think by and large met the timelines. Some of the timelines on the road map with respect to the minister, have been quite aggressive, we have targeted some slightly relaxed timelines, but we are managing this very closely,” De Ruyter said.
New boards and managing directors were appointed at no extra cost because the appointments were internal.
Gordhan said the process was complex and sensitive, as dealing with Eskom’s R450 billion debt was closely linked to it.
“It’s going to take time. It’s going to take caution on the one hand but it’s also going to take courage and boldness of leadership to move in the right direction. The debt issue is very much tied to this process as well, particularly those who have invested in Eskom debt, so it’s also a very sensitive issue,” Gordhan said.