Is award-winning CFO Anoj Singh Eskom's saviour?

Transnet CFO Anoj Singh will join his CEO Brian Molefe at the struggling power utility Eskom on 1 August 2015. The award-winning Finance boss will be responsible for the Finance strategy, including the R250 billion funding plan. Singh has not been known to get nervous by big numbers, as he has been driving an investment program worth R336 billion at Transnet, together with Molefe.

Anoj Singh was the most successful CFO during the CFO Awards of both 2014 and 2015, scooping up two awards on both occasions. Now he has been tasked with the toughest job in the country - saving Eskom. He will be "seconded" for at least 6 months, Eskom announced today.

Molefe has been with Eskom since April, but hasn't been able to turn the tide. A request for further power tariff increases was recently rejected by the National Energy Regulator of South Africa. Molefe then turned to the new Brics development bank to borrow money to fund the construction of power stations.

Transnet has fared much better than Eskom over the last years as it has been able to access funding from investors from Canada, United States, Germany and China, amongst others. An Eskom statement credits this to Singh: "Throughout his leadership, Transnet maintained an above investment grade rating while raising funds on the strength of its balance sheet."

Earlier, we already wrote that it is an open secret that Molefe's success at Transnet is for a big part thanks to Anoj Singh, his man behind much of the strategy and the numbers. Singh told us previously that being CFO of a state-owned company is one of the hardest jobs out there. He describes the CFO role as the Chief Strategy Officer.

"From an exposure perspective it doesn't get more complex than at a SOC or in the government. There is a reason entities like Transnet are state-owned. They do things that private parties don't have the risk tolerance for." - Anoj Sigh

In previous conversations with CFO South Africa, Singh proved himself an optimist about Eskom's long term success, especially once power plants Medupi and Kusile are online. The Transnet CFO almost sounded confused that Eskom hadn't been able to come up with a better funding plan and/or communication strategy for these investments...

  • Transnet CFO Anoj Singh is one of the winners at the CFO Awards 2015. Next year's CFO Awards will take place on 12 May 2016, once again at the Summer Place in Johannesburg. If you would like to buy a table, join the panel of judges or become a partner you can email Jurrien Morsch. Attendance is free for members. Visit CFOawards.co.za
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