Current Telkom chairman Jabu Mabuza has been appointed as the new chairman of Eskom amid wholesale changes to the board of the ailing power utility.
In a statement released on Saturday afternoon it was announced that the appointments were a measure to strengthen governance at Eskom and stabilise management at the parastatal.
Mabuza has been credited with the turnaround of Telkom‚ which in 2012 was floundering financially‚ together with CEO Sipho Maseko.
A high-level meeting was held on Friday night attended by President Jacob Zuma‚ Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa‚ Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown and Minister of Finance Malusi Gigaba “to address urgent challenges at the company”.
“This intervention will be ratified by Cabinet at its next meeting‚” the statement read.
Other appointments include that of Phakamani Hadebe as the acting group chief executive with immediate effect and the new board has been given three months to appoint a permanent group chief executive and group chief financial officer. The board has also been directed to “immediately remove all Eskom executives who are facing allegations of serious corruption and other acts of impropriety”.
This includes recently reinstated head of group capital Matshela Koko and suspended CFO Anoj Singh.
“Eskom is critical to the South African economy. As a key enabler of economic growth and social transformation‚ any further deterioration of Eskom’s financial and operational conditions could have a severe impact on the country‚” the statement continues.
“The company has been facing several challenges‚ including a weak financial position‚ declining revenues and governance failures‚ which are threatening the sustainability of the company going forward.
“This is the first step towards restoring confidence in the company‚ improving its financial position and restoring its operational performance.”
The new board will consist of:
- Jabu Mabuza as chairperson
- Sifiso Dabengwa
- Sindi Mabaso-Koyana
- Mark Lamberti
- Prof Tshepo Mongalo
- Prof Malegapuru Makgoba
- Busisiwe Mavuso
- Nelisiwe Magubane
- Dr Rod Crompton
- George Sebulela
- Dr Pulane Molokwane
- Dr Banothile Makhubela
- Jacky Molisane
“We are confident this intervention will restore the important contribution Eskom makes to our economy. We are determined to address the damage that has been done to this institution and place it on a new path of efficiency and integrity‚” said Ramaphosa in his capacity as chair of the inter-ministerial committee on SOE reform.
“Government calls on all stakeholders‚ employees‚ suppliers and members of the public to work together to ensure that these measures are successful.
“For South Africa to flourish‚ Eskom must work and work well‚” he said.
Brown and Gigaba would work together under the leadership of Ramaphosa to deal with other structural issues at Eskom‚ which will include a funding model.
The statement calls on Eskom employees who may have evidence of wrongdoing to bring this to the attention of law enforcement agencies so that culprits can be brought to book.