JOHANNESBURG: 04 April 2023 – Energy Analyst Chris Yelland has described the latest move by government and Eskom to exempt the power utility from disclosing irregular and wasteful expenditure as an attempt to clamp down on information. The exemption was granted by the Auditor-General following a request by Eskom for an extension to submit its financial statements. Eskom’s spokesperson, Sikonathi Mantshantsha, said the utility was committed to submitting its financial statements by the extended deadline.
The decision to exempt Eskom from disclosing irregular and wasteful expenditure has been met with criticism by various stakeholders, including Yelland. In a recent interview with Chai FM , Yelland stated that “transparency is crucial for the public and investors to have confidence in Eskom’s operations.” He further warned that this move could lead to further mismanagement and corruption at the power utility.
This news comes amid ongoing concerns regarding Eskom’s ability to deliver reliable electricity to South Africa, with frequent power cuts and load shedding. Data from EskomSePush, a renowned load shedding app, indicates that the national utility failed to deliver an estimated 11 797 GWh of energy during 3775 hours of rolling power cuts in 2022 . In addition, there have been concerns regarding Eskom’s aging fleet of coal-fired power stations, with breakdowns causing the power utility to go from Level 1 to Level 4 over the past few days .
Yelland has been a prominent voice in the energy sector, providing insights and analysis on various issues, including Eskom’s Medupi and Kusile projects, which he described as a “plan designed to fail” . He has also criticized the explosion at Eskom’s Medupi power plant, describing it as a “complete failure of oversight” . Furthermore, he has praised President Cyril Ramaphosa’s load shedding plan, stating that it offers “significant opportunities” for the energy sector .
As the energy sector continues to face challenges, stakeholders will be closely monitoring developments and decisions made by Eskom and the government.