This morning, under the shadow of Stage 3 loadshedding, Eskom announced that it had suspended the power station managers at Kendal and Tutuka.

The utility says that this was prompted by the move to Stage 4 loadshedding this week.

“While it is true that the aging fleet is plagued by legacy issues of neglect and omitted maintenance and it is therefore susceptible to unpredictable breakdowns, it is also true that the situation is exacerbated by serious issues of apathetic behaviour by some management staff,” Eskom said in a statement on Friday morning.

The power station managers have seemingly exhibited this sort of behaviour and thus have been suspended pending disciplinary inquiries. Details regarding these inquiries were not furnished by Eskom.

However, the utility has said that further investigations are underway at the Kriel and Duvha power stations.

As a South African though, what is the point of having yet another investigation? Honestly speaking we’re so tired of commissions of inquiry that ultimately lead nowhere.

That said, Eskom, to its credit is looking to change the culture of “weak consequence management”, but this is not generally something that can be accomplished through suspending one or two people. Instead, it requires a lot of work to up-end the longstanding systems and behaviours that have allowed that management style to take hold of Eskom.

The utility went on to say that it has deployed senior generation managers at each of the power stations in question.

Meanwhile, South Africans have to contend with Stage 3 loadshedding for the rest of the weekend.

Make no mistake, we applaud Eskom for taking action against these power station managers but suspending a few people isn’t going to magically fix the power utility.

[Image – CC 0 Pixabay]