The cash flow situation at Eskom is severe, but performance of executives should not be judged on issues they have no control over, the parastatal said at a media briefing on the state of the nation’s power situation.

The briefing follows a power emergency and rolling blackouts on Thursday that caught South Africans across the country by surprise.

The cash flow statement was made during a question and answer session after the briefing on Friday.

Eskom chairperson Zola Tsotsi said the performance of executives is not in relation to issues they have no control over. “So executives should not be judged on that.”

Outgoing CEO Brian Dames also alluded to a cash flow problem. “We have a cash issue regarding getting all our coal stockpiles covered,” he said .

On top of this, he said the country is also experiencing bad weather.

He said electricity emergencies are not declared every day and apologised to the country for the blackouts.

“We try to minimise the impact on economy.”

He said Eskom is looking at how to improve the system.

“We have not taken money away from maintenance. We have actually put more money towards maintenance.”

On Thurday, Eskom imposed load shedding for the first time since 2008.

It said the grid was under pressure because of torrential rain in Mpumalanga, which had affected coal supplies.

Eskom has lifted the power emergency on Thursday night at 22:00. However,it warned that the situation could change and would again result in load shedding.

On Dames’s exit at the end of the month, Tsotsi said the process to find a new CEO to replace Dames is already under way, but the board will take its time to make a decision.

“Even if we have a short list of candidates, the board has to take its time. It certainly is the most important decision this board has had to take,” he said.

In December, Eskom posted a profit of R12.24bn for the half-year to September 2013, but the parastatal warned that it will be somewhat eroded in the second half of the financial year.