A fish may rot from the head, but the rampant decay at Eskom has hamstrung the very heart of its business. This was noted by both the task teams appointed to probe the utility’s problems as they finish up their investigations. Both the presidential sustainability task team and the technical review team have flagged deep concern over a skills deficit at Eskom, which has been so hollowed out by malfeasance that even the inner workings of its far-flung power stations are now suffering the effects. “One of the issues that really struck us as the president’s task team when we went into Eskom, was that probably the core difficulty and challenge in Eskom at the moment is the issue of skills and capabilities,” said Anton Eberhard, a member of the sustainability task team appointed by President Cyril Ramaphosa in December 2018. He was addressing media as part of an Eskom briefing that took place at the Lethabo power station last week. The role state capture played in this should not be under...

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