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Eskom’s Restructuring Chief to Split Duties, Report to Ministers

Eskom’s Restructuring Chief to Split Duties, Report to Ministers

  • Freeman Nomvalo was named to lead the Eskom reorganization
  • Eskom has more than $30 billion of debt and will be split up

Freeman Nomvalo, the new chief restructuring officer for Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd., will divide his time between managing the unbundling of the loss-making state power giant and his job as head of the South African Institute for Chartered Accountants.

Freeman Nomvalo

Freeman Nomvalo

Source: SAICA

The role taken by Nomvalo, relatively unknown among economists and analysts, will be more of a process manager than a standalone company executive, according to a statement by the Department of Public Enterprises. “He will lead the efforts to establish the CRO Office” and head a team of specialists to execute the turnaround of Eskom, it said.

The task of reorganizing Eskom is crucial for the company and the country, with Eskom having posted a record 20.7 billion rand ($1.5 billion) loss on Tuesday and surviving on bailouts from a cash-strapped state. Saddled with more than $30 billion of debt, it’s seen as the biggest threat to South Africa’s economy. The government plans to split the monopoly into three businesses to help make it self sufficient.

Nomvalo, who will remain as the chief executive officer of SAICA, was not the type of high-profile candidate speculated about in the weeks before his appointment. He will report to the ministers of finance and public enterprises and the Eskom board, the department said.

Read more:

Eskom Restructuring Boss Starts Job Facing Record Annual Loss

Why Eskom’s Power Crisis Is South Africa’s Top Risk: QuickTake

“It’s clear that the CRO, given his lack of experience at Eskom, will really focus on the technical process of the reconfiguration,” said Darias Jonker, a London-based director at Eurasia Group Ltd. “He will inevitably clash with vested interests within Eskom and then the divergent interests from the various political interest groups, although he would defer to his political principals on that.”