JOHANNESBURG– South Africa’s State-owned power utility, Eskom, has secured 22 per cent of the funding it needs in the current financial year, says Board Chairperson Jabu Mabuza.

To date, Eskom has raised 43 billion Rand (about 3.31 billion US dollars) between January and March 2018, and since April, secured 22 per cent of the required funding for the new financial year, said Mabuza at the launch here Thursday of the utility’s Electricity System Status Report.

Mabuza also said the board, which was announced by the Presidency in January, had approved a financial viability plan, which would be forwarded to Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan.

Our focus and discussions have centred on finding neat solutions to the liquidity issues and addressing governance-related matters as a matter of urgency. Doubling our efforts in curbing governance irregularities has restored the organization’s credibility and improved investor confidence, providing some much-needed financial relief.

He added that since the new board took office, several senior executives had exited the organization and that further investigations were being undertaken, including lifestyle audits.

We have begun conducting mandatory lifestyle audits for executives and senior managers, two levels below the Group Chief Executive. Along this line, our unified efforts against financial mismanagement, malfeasance and maladministration are yielding the desired results, he said.

This was evident in that more and more employees continued to use whistle-blowing channels. Implicated employees are subjected to internal disciplinary procedures, while plans are in place to pursue criminal prosecution, money recovery as well as other appropriate punitive actions against implicated suppliers, said Mabuza.

Turning his focus to load shedding, Mabuza said Eskom was doing all it can to keep the lights on. Whilst the risk of load shedding always exists, we remain confident that management is on a direct course to keeping the lights on for South Africa this (southern hemisphere) winter, said Mabuza of the inconvenience that once plagued South Africans.