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NTCSA on track to begin trading on July 1, Marokane says

Eskom CEO Dan Marokane

Eskom CEO Dan Marokane

Photo by Creamer Media Chief Photographer Donna Slater

14th June 2024

By: Terence Creamer

Creamer Media Editor

     

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Eskom CEO Dan Marokane has confirmed that the National Transmission Company South Africa (NTCSA) is on track to begin trading on July 1 and that the new entity is being set up to operate as a fully independent subsidiary even though it will continue to be owned by Eskom Holdings and be located on the Megawatt Park campus.

At a briefing hosted to enable Marokane to reflect on his first 100 days and to outline his strategic priorities, the CEO underlined that the NTCSA’s independent board was determined to provide “equal access” to the network as envisaged when the unbundling was initiated.

He also reported that efforts were under way to reconfigure the office arrangements at Megawatt park so that NTCSA had a distinct identity, including its own entrance.

“Megawatt Park has got multiple wings, with separate entrance doors, and at some point . . . [the South African Revenue Service] was located here and SARS was independent from us, even when we stayed in the same building,” he said.

“I think what becomes important is the drive that the independent NTCSA board will have, working with the management team, to ensure that it provides equal access to all participants in the sector.”

Marokane also stressed the priority being given to investing in new grid capacity in line with a Transmission Development Plan that envisaged the addition of 14 000 km of new power lines by 2032, as well as the installation of 122 600 MVA of new transformation capacity.

He acknowledged the slow pace of deployment in 2023/24, but attributed this to bottlenecks in the supply chain, which had shrunk as a result of years of underinvestment and, thus, required time and effort to re-establish its delivery capacity.

A target had been set for Eskom to work with the domestic industry to scale up to deliver more than 800 km a year of new transmission and distribution lines in the coming 24 to 36 months, he revealed.

In addition, group executive for transmission Segomoco Scheepers confirmed a report was being finalised regarding the NTCSA’s approach to independent transmission projects, which would be built, operated and owned by the private sector for a determined period before being transferred to the ownership of the NTCSA.

Scheepers said that work on the potential for independent transmission projects was well advanced.

“This report will then be shared, once that work is adequately advanced, with Eskom as the shareholder of NTCSA and then also with the Minister of Electricity, and then we'll be in a position to discuss the details in public.”

Marokane also reported that additional advisory capacity was being sought to support the unbundling of the National Distribution Company South Africa in the coming 12 to 24 months, which would be followed by the establishment of a separate generation entity.

Describing these transactions as “complex”, he said it had become necessary to bolster both internal capacity and to recruit external advisers to give itself the best chance of meeting the timelines that had been set.

A new executive structure would also be implemented to consolidate Eskom’s operational recovery, while leveraging synergies across the unbundled entities, including consolidating corporate services, as well as pursuing future prospects, including in renewable energy.

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter

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