Nomvalo seconded to Eskom CRO office

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan has announced that Freeman Nomvalo has been seconded to lead efforts towards establishing the office of the Chief Restructuring Officer (CRO) at Eskom.

Speaking at the release of Eskom’s 2018/2019 integrated annual results on Tuesday, the Minister said Nomvalo has agreed to assist government in the establishment of the CRO office.

He is currently Chief Executive Officer at the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA).

“I can announce that we have reached an agreement with SAICA that Mr Nomvalo will be seconded to be appointed at the Eskom CRO office. He will lead efforts to establish the CRO office and build its capability,” said the Minister at the media briefing where the utility announced a net loss after tax of R20.7 billion in the year ended March.

The immediate tasks for the CRO office will be to interrogate Eskom debt and various proposals to resolve Eskom’s burden and to engage investors with the Eskom Executive.

Nomvalo, said the Minister, will lead efforts to bring in corporate finance and debt management, among other things.

He will report to both the Minister of Finance Tito Mboweni, Minister Gordhan, as well as the Eskom board. In addition, Nomvalo will also have the authority to attend board and EXCO meetings. His tasks will include engaging investors with the Eskom executives.

In February the 2019 Budget Review document stated that work was afoot to reconfigure the South African electricity sector by addressing challenges faced by Eskom, with the board of the first subsidiary of the power utility to be appointed by mid-2019.

Tuesday’s announcement follows President Cyril Ramaphosa’s State of the Nation Address (SONA) in January in which he announced government’s plan to split the utility into three divisions.

The three entities will operate under a single state-owned holding company with the Eskom board currently developing a sustainable operational plan for each business which government will consider over the next three months.

With Eskom currently sitting with R440 billion debt, Gordhan said government’s response to the Eskom “crisis” is the restructuring of Eskom into the three entities.

The Minister said the road map is starting to emerge to deal with the challenges at the utility.

“A clear indication of that roadmap will be provided when the paper that the President referred to as the “Eskom paper” - indicating the type of trajectory the Eskom restructuring process will take - will be published,” said Gordhan.

The Minister emphasised that Nomvalo will remain as CEO of SAICA. -