Speaking to the media in Johannesburg today, Tshediso Matona said the power utility was living on the edge.
“Eskom is currently sailing through difficult waters. We are working towards building a sustainable Eskom and sustainable future electricity supply,” he added.
Without levelling the blame on his predecessors, Matona conceded that the power utility had deferred maintenance of generators which was contributing to current power outages.
“Eskom has not stayed faithful to its maintenance religion for a very long time. We are going to require as long as it took to create this problem to remedy it,” he warned.
Matona also hinted on the possibility of raising tariffs saying the power utility’s financial health depended on the right tariff.
“The electricity tariffs are set by the national energy regulator [but] as it stands, the tariffs are not cost reflective and that needs to be addressed,” said the chief executive.
Eskom has been rolling out rotational load shedding across the country and promise to continue doing the same as the company seeks solutions to its energy crisis.
“Load shedding is something we do with great pain. As Eskom we are not in the business of switching off lights but keeping them on,” assured Matona.
He also said Eskom was a national challenge and was currently facing technical skills shortage that has been eroded over time and urged other stakeholders such as FET colleges and universities to participate in addressing the skills deficit.
(READ MORE: S.Africa’s Eskom implements rolling power outages)
Matona battled to inspire hope in his state of the system update saying the power utility would avoid a total blackout that some reports suggest is imminent.
“We know what the problem is and we know the solution required to get out of this situation.”