More problems as Medupi boss quits

Energy analyst Chris Yelland on Sunday expressed concern over the resignation of Roman Crookes, project director at Medupi power station.

Yelland told Fin24 Crookes’ departure “obviously raises concerns about the institutional memory within Eskom as the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) main contractor”.

“One hopes that there will be a sufficiently experienced team at Eskom and at the Medupi site to ensure continuity and a smooth succession that will not result in any further delays,” he said.

Eskom spokesperson Khulu Phasiwe said Crookes’ departure is not a major concern for the state power utility as with any other project team there are other managers working very closely on the project and thus know what’s going on.

There has also been a lot of cross pollination of experience and expertise between the teams at Medupi and Kusile,” which will make a “handover process seamless”, Phasiwe said.


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However, Alec Hogg, writing for Biznews said that Crookes was an engineer that inspired confidence and will be sorely missed.

“The news that Crookes has left “to pursue other interests” is disheartening.

Even more so, Eskom’s spin that he won’t be missed. There is a massive difference between authentic leadership and simply giving someone a title.

Eskom cannot afford to lose a leader like Crookes, especially not half way through such a critical project. Its board should have refused his resignation and moved heaven and earth to ensure he stuck around to finish the assignment,” said Hogg.

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