Gordhan Reiterates Call For Help To Find Skilled Engineers To Solve Eskom Crisis

The Minister of Public Enterprises, Pravin Gordhan, has reiterated his call for help in recruiting experienced engineers to solve Eskom’s power crisis
Gordhan accepted a long-standing offer from trade union Solidarity to help mobilise “critical skills” which he’s previously acknowledged the ailing power utility is short on.
The union first provided Gordhan with a list of more than 700 individuals it had identified who were willing and able to assist in 2019, but nothing came of it at the time.
Following Gordhan’s budget vote speech in May in which he said Eskom lacked engineering and technical skills, the union again wrote to him offering its assistance.
This month, Gordhan finally responded thanking Solidarity and asking it for another list, saying they were looking specifically for power station engineers, senior artisans and plant operators.
The minister’s spokesperson, Richard Mantu, reiterated Gordhan’s remarks during his budget vote speech about the lack of engineering, technical skills, and experience at Eskom and how “experienced engineers and technical skills were hollowed out as a result of state capture and corruption over the years”.
Mantu said Eskom management was looking into identifying experienced personnel and was putting in place various training programmes and mentorships for existing power station managers and operators.
He also said various other professional and business organisations have offered to assist.
Solidarity said it’ll provide Gordhan with the names of engineers who can help save Eskom, which he’s asked for within the week.
Solidarity spokesperson Morne Malan said it was more optimistic about solving the crisis than ever before in the wake of the latest developments.
“We do believe now is the time for change, I think at the moment, the sentiment is just to solve the crisis. We’ll deal with past issues at a later stage. The key thing at the moment and that’s something on which everyone agrees, is to get Eskom stable as quickly as possible.”
Back in 2019, the union brought the minister the offer together with a list of more than 700 individuals who were willing to offer their services.
Malan said the list that were presented to Gordhan has increased drastically since it was first presented to him in 2019.
“Initially, we’d envisaged a top 100. We’ve actually been so overwhelmed by the level of expertise we’ve received, it’ll likely be more than that.”
He said the union would continue to add to its list over the coming days and that it’ll submit a whittled down version to the minister within a week.
Meanwhile, Eskom said it will rollout stage 2 power cuts from 4 pm until midnight.
This level will continue at the same time on Friday but the power utility said it would cut down to stage 1 over the weekend.