Botswana Power Corporation (BPC) executive management is reportedly facing the axe. Sources close to the board say Chief Executive Officer Jacob Raleru and his team of executives are on their way out and the management of the power utility company will be outsourced.
An Irish engineering company ESB International (ESBI) will reportedly take over on a 3-year contract. BPC spokesperson Spencer Moreri declined to comment on whether management will be dismissed or not saying the matter was beyond him. “Please note that the matter in question is the purview of BPC Board and the shareholder,” he said in response to a questionnaire.
Botswana Gazette has it on good authority that ESBI conducted a study on BPC operations last year before making recommendations to the BPC Board. The Board and management has been informed of the impending change at BPC. “ Communication has been made to the effect that ESBI will be coming in, though information was sketchy on the exact nature of their involvement, a meeting will be held today (Tuesday) to provide an update, ” the source said.
The management contract was supposed to effect from the 1st of April but the day came and passed without any update though the source says the plan to bring in ESBI was still very much on track.
Botswana Power Corporation workers union President Mmoloki Motladiile has confirmed that ESBI will take up some leadership roles in the power utility “ we have been informed that ESBI will take up some management roles in the company on a three year contract” Motladiile said adding that the transformation from a power importer to a power producer with possibilities of exporting was cited as one of the reason for the restructuring of the company.
Motladiile said as the union they have yet to have a position on the matter as they have yet to be told which positions are going to be affected. “Only then can we give our stand on the matter
BPC management has come under fire following the continued power outages that have plagued the country over the past four years. Questions have also been raised over the abilities of management in dealing with the country’s power supply challenges brought about by the continuous breaking down of the Morupule B power station.
Efforts to reach BPC Board Chairman Sebetlela Sebetlela proved futile as his phone was unavailable. Minister of Mineral Energy and Water Resources Kitso Mokaila declined to comment and ESBI had not responded to an emailed questionnaire at the time of going to print.
ESBI is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Electricity Supply Board (ESB), Ireland’s government-owned electricity utility and a leading player in the competitive Irish energy sector. They are currently involved on a consultancy basis in 14 countries including Namibia and South Africa. In South Africa ESBI is the lead technical advisor and project manager in the construction of 2,000MW of open cycle gas turbine power plants. ESBI played a role in fast-tracking the implementation of the project, which is considered a critical capacity addition for South Africa.