After an hour listening to public enterprises minister Pravin Gordhan and Eskom chair Jabu Mabuza evading questions about Eskom’s balance sheet and its R419bn debt at a recent media conference, Financial Mail deputy editor Sikonathi Mantshantsha hit the nail on the head. “Jabu Mabuza told us in June that there would be a plan for this debt that you now say we should not talk about,” said Mantshantsha. “He gave us a deadline of September. Let us now just admit that there is no plan. We are bumbling along from day to day. We do not know how to fix this organisation.” Mabuza replied that there was a plan. But there had been delays in Eskom’s processes to procure the services of two international companies — Lazard and Boston Consulting Group (BCG), which will advise on the balance sheet and the organisational design respectively — to “stress test and validate our own hypotheses”. On Friday, in response to public outrage in the wake of the latest round of nationwide load shedding, Presi...

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