Brian Dames steps down from Eskom task team

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Brian Dames, the Chief Executive of African Rainbow Energy and Power, has informed President Cyril Ramaphosa that while he is prepared to serve the country, he is unable to serve on the Eskom Sustainability Task Team.

President Ramaphosa appointed the Eskom Sustainability Task Team on Friday. The team is tasked with advising government on actions to resolve Eskom’s operational, structural and financial challenges.

“Dames has noted concerns raised regarding a perceived conflict of interest relating to the scope of work and terms of reference of the Eskom Sustainability Task Team.

“Based on these concerns, Mr Dames has requested to be released from the task team,” said the Presidency in a statement on Wednesday.

According to the Presidency, the President expressed his appreciation for Dames’s willingness to serve, and “respects the judgment [Dames] has exercised”.

Other members of the task team include Anton Eberhard, Tsakani Mthombeni, Sy Gourrah, Grové Steyn, Frans Baleni, Mick Davis and Busisiwe Vilakazi.

Top of the Eskom Sustainability Task Team’s agenda will be the following key issues:

- Assess the operational, structural and financial viability of Eskom, including key assumptions around life of plant, impact and cost of environment commitments and demand assumptions.

- Review the turnaround strategy submitted by the Eskom Board of Directors. This will include a review of key assumptions, impact on tariffs and industry, and viability of proposed solutions on the future role of Eskom.

- Assess the appropriateness of the current Eskom business model and structure.

- Present a view on the current energy trends and the evolution of the global energy context.

- Present a view on the role, positioning and structure of energy utilities and provide proposals.

- Propose alternative business and financial models appropriate for the South African context.

- Propose how the structure of the electricity industry in South Africa can adapt to evolving changes in this sector, including the harnessing of new technologies.

- Make proposals to resolve the debt burden.

The team will work hand in hand with the Public Enterprises Ministry.

President Ramaphosa has requested the task team to submit their initial recommendations by the end of January 2019. –