Trade union Solidarity sent a list of skilled power experts to Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan and Eskom CEO André de Ruyter on August 4, following calls by Gordhan to identify energy experts to help the country address prevailing electricity generation deficiencies.
According to Solidarity, the 300 experts on its shortlist have about 5 500 years of combined experience in the industry, as well as more than 400 accredited combined qualifications of which 14 are doctorate degrees in engineering and related fields.
Solidarity CE Dr Dirk Hermann says the union’s list contains some of the country’s “leading experts” in the field of power. “We are astonished, not only by the wealth of expertise and knowledge these individuals offer, but also by their willingness and eagerness to tackle South Africa’s power crisis.”
Among these experts are also numerous persons who work as qualified international project managers. “They are internationally sought-after specialists in their field,” he points out.
“At the moment, the main problem area in our power grid lies with generation, and for this reason, the largest percentage (about 70%) of the experts on our list are involved in generation, while 16% can be involved in distribution, 6% in transmission and about 8% of the experts offer commercial, management and other skills,” says Hermann.
Solidarity says the experts on its list possess the skills and knowledge to stabilise Eskom.
Solidarity explains that, since Gordhan requested a list of power experts, the organisation has been inundated with more than a thousand requests from various experts and former Eskom employees. In consultation with specialists, and based on the most urgent issues at Eskom, the union has shortened the list to 300.
“The current crisis at Eskom . . . is too extensive for a single party, including the State, to solve on its own.
“A functioning Eskom is crucially important, both for employees within the organisation and for employees throughout the South African economy. The pressure is now on the government to muster the necessary political will to enable these experts to save Eskom,” he concludes.