I did not accept the job lightly‚ says new Eskom chair Jabu Mabuza

The new Eskom board chairman Jabu Mabuza says he was humbled to receive a call asking if he would be willing to take on the job as head of the power utility’s board but it is not a task he accepted lightly.

Jabu Mabuza. Image: KATHERINE MUICK-MERE

Mabuza‚ who has been credited with the strong turnaround of Telkom in recent years‚ said on Saturday after the announcement that there was a general consensus across society that work needed to be done in terms of turning the South African economy around. Eskom was a key part of the economy‚ he said.

“I was quite humbled when I was asked to participate to find a solution in leading Eskom‚” Mabuza said.

“Eskom is a part of our daily lives and any problem that affects Eskom‚ affects every one of us. I accepted‚ but not lightly. I understand that this is a very‚ very big challenge – bigger than anything I have ever been involved in.”

Mabuza said he would continue to serve as chairman of Telkom.

“I am still chairman of Telkom. Telkom has a great board‚ a great management and the strategies are clear‚ the business plan is clear and we’ve got a strong balance sheet. We are dealing with some issues‚ but I have no doubt in my mind that Telkom will continue to do well.

“But I do recognise that a good board is just one of the most important things to try and address the issues of governance and leadership. But outside of that we need financial and business discipline; we do need a competent management. The right people at the right places‚ doing the right things‚” he said.

Mabuza said he has “always been willing to do that which I have to do in the national interest” when asked if he considered the task of clearing up the corruption at Eskom daunting.

Along with Mabuza‚ an entirely new board has been appointed while new acting group chief executive Phakamani Hadebe will replace Sean Maritz‚ Eskom’s head of IT who has been acting in the position since October last year.

Along with Mabuza the following appointments to the board will be ratified at the next Cabinet meeting:
– 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

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.

Mabuza concluded the interview saying he hoped interventions at Eskom could solve the issues plaguing the parastatal‚ but that it was “no small task”.

By: Kyle Cowan – TimesLIVE 

Source: TMG Digital.

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