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'My single most important aim is for load shedding to disappear from face of SA'

30 July 2020 6:20 PM

The Money Show's Bruce Whitfield interviews Eskom interim chair and Health Ombud, Prof. Malegapuru Makgoba.

The public health advocate, scientist and academic has been described as a global trailblazer.

Professor Makgoba's made the headlines as the first black deputy vice-chancellor of the University of the Witwaterrand (Wits) and a leading figure in the investigation into the Life Esidimeni scandal.

His many accolades include being recognised for his contribution to science with the _Order of Mapungubwe (_Silver) and as a Legend in Science by the Academy of Science of South Africa.

Prof Malegapuru William Makgoba. Picture: healthombud.org.za

Recently, the US government invited Makgoba to serve on an international panel monitoring Covid-19 vaccine trials.

RELATED: Health Ombud Malegapuru Makgoba to serve on panel of USA COVID-19 vaccine trial

He was appointed Eskom interim chairperson in January.

I think one of my single goals that I'm focused on is that when I leave Eskom, I think we shall forget load shedding.

Prof. Malegapuru Makgoba, Health Ombud and Eskom interim chair

The way to do it is to focus on the operations of the generation of electricity and over the last six months, I think I have focused on this issue as one of my tasks... because I think the country will feel much more comfortable and the wellbeing of the people will be better without load shedding, the economy will improve...

Prof. Malegapuru Makgoba, Health Ombud and Eskom interim chair

Makgoba says since Eskom started on a programme of repair and reliability maintenance, it's reduced high-level breakdowns from 66% to 22%.

So the maintenance reliability programme is beginning to have an impact and I'm sure you'll also realise that despite people saying that there has been lower demand in electricity, I think these three months of the winter we have only had about seven days of load shedding.

Prof. Malegapuru Makgoba, Health Ombud and Eskom interim chair

I would like it [load shedding] to disappear from the face of South Africa and that is my single most important aim.

Prof. Malegapuru Makgoba, Health Ombud and Eskom interim chair

Makgoba refers to his tenure as vice-chancellor at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) where the same processes of changing the culture, ethics and requirements needed in a new structure had to take place.

To do what we did at UKZN took us about two to three years and I suspect that it's going to take us around the same time to finally do this whole restructuring or unbundling of Eskom.

Prof. Malegapuru Makgoba, Health Ombud and Eskom interim chair

Makgoba also explains how his decision-laden medical experience plays into his current role at Eskom.

Take a listen to the in-depth interview in the audio below:


30 July 2020 6:20 PM

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