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By Citizen Reporter

Journalist


Eskom gets a new acting head of generation

Eskom on Tuesday appointed Thomas Conradie as the power utility's new acting head of generation.


Eskom’s interim group executive for generation, Rhulani Mathebula, is reportedly abandoning his post with immediate affect.

Mathebula was appointed in May and began duties in June after Phillip Dukashe resigned on 31 May. He is the second generation head to resign in six months.

Decades of experience

News24 revealed that Eskom on Tuesday appointed Thomas Conradie as the power utility’s new acting generation group executive.

At the time of Mathebula’s appointment, he was described by the power utility as a “seasoned power station general manager”, who had acted as group executive for generation before Dukashe’s appointment.

During Eskom’s state of the system briefing on Tuesday, Eskom group COO Jan Oberholzer said Mathebula’s resignation was due to the negative impact the role had on his personal life.

“For sure it was a disappointment, but I respect the decision. One needs to understand the demand of this role.

“The leader of the generation business, in turning this ship around, is an extremely demanding decision,” Oberholzer said.

Conradie was previously a power station manager at Kriel and Lethabo power stations, and has been with Eskom for close to 24 years.

He holds a Master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from Stellenbosch University, and an MBA from Unisa graduate school of business leadership.

ALSO READ: De Ruyter ‘not qualified or experienced enough to pull Eskom out of this mess’

More load shedding on the way

Eskom announced on Tuesday, during its briefing, it would be embarking on “major capital investment projects” and repairs over the next few weeks.

Serving as a necessary evil, these implementations will exacerbate the need for load shedding.

“Eskom cautions the public to ancitipate the increased risk of load shedding until these problems are resolved over the next six to 12 months.”

The high level of unplanned outages, which collectively resulted in 155 days of load shedding since January, meant a heavy reliance on open-cycle gas turbines, burning millions of litres of diesel.

Unit 1 of the Koeberg Power Station will be shut down on 1 December, for routine maintenance, removing 920MW of generation capacity from the national grid.

NOW READ: Eskom: ‘We are trying to avoid a total system collapse’

Compiled by Nica Richards.

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