Gordhan appoints Eskom chair, Jabu Mabuza, acting chief executive

Newly appointed acting CEO of Eskom, Jabu Mabuza. (Gallo)

Newly appointed acting CEO of Eskom, Jabu Mabuza. (Gallo)

Eskom board boss Jabu Mabuza has been named the power utility’s acting chief executive officer and executive chairman for the next three months.

Public enterprises minister Pravin Gordhan made the announcement in a statement on Monday, following Eskom’s annual general meeting (AGM).

Mabuza will hold the post while Eskom’s board hunts for a replacement for outgoing chief executive Phakamani Hadebe, whose last day at the company is 31 July.

“Within the three-month period during which Mr Mabuza will be the Executive Chairman and Acting CEO, the Eskom board will conclude the process of identifying a suitable candidate to become the next Eskom [group chief executive officer],” Gordhan said.

Hadebe announced his resignation in late May, citing the toll the role was taking on his health.

The announcement comes as Eskom is due to publish its financial results on Tuesday — which are expected to reveal record-breaking losses of over R20-billion.

The company is also on the hunt for a chief restructuring officer (CRO), first announced in this year’s February budget. Finance minister Tito Mboweni announced the appointment of a CRO as a condition of the added financial support Eskom was given in the budget —essentially R69-billion in the coming three years. The appointment of a CRO is also in line with plans announced by president Cyril Ramaphosa, to restructure Eskom into three business units - generation, transmission and distribution.

While the CRO has not been announced, and there have been no moves on its mooted restructuring, Eskom’s financial position has deteriorated further.  Last week Mboweni, tabled a special appropriations bill in parliament, allocating Eskom an additional R59-billion in the coming two years.

Although it would come at significant cost to the taxpayer and with severe ramifications for the fiscus Mboweni said, it was done to ensure that the company could continue to operate as a going concern

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