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Brown likely to chop and change Eskom board

Development
Cape Town - Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown is expected to wield the axe at Eskom’s annual general meeting on Friday.

Indications are the minister will use the opportunity to rotate members of the board following a number of scandals that have rocked the utility over the past few months.

She is expected to retain one or two members for purposes of continuity. Acting chairperson Zethembe Khoza, who took over the reins after Ben Ngubane quit in a huff last week, is expected to stay.

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Lynne Brown

The board was appointed by Cabinet in 2014 and its term of office comes to an end later this year.

Brown’s spokesman Colin Cruywagen yesterday confirmed the AGM will go ahead on Friday.

“The AGM will give her the opportunity to rotate the board.”

Cruywagen did not want to be drawn into providing additional details on the goings-on in the board, which has been facing a barrage of calls for its axing since it brought Brian Molefe back into the utility.

The parties are now in court with Molefe fighting to get his job back and opposition parties demanding that he should not be re-hired.

Molefe turned to the courts after the Cabinet had instructed Brown to fire him. The fallout began after news broke that Molefe stood to receive R30 million for the 18 months he worked at Eskom.

When Brown rejected this pay-out, the Eskom board decided to reappoint Molefe.

Parliament’s portfolio committee on public enterprises is expected to begin the inquiry into Eskom next Wednesday. They had agreed to establish an inquiry into Eskom, including its coal contracts and re-appointment of Molefe as chief executive.

This is a separate process from the one initiated by Brown to rope in the special investigating unit (SIU) to probe tenders at Eskom dating back to 2007.

Eskom has had seven investigations since 2007, but none of the reports emanating from these probes has been released.

Brown has said she wants the SIU to look at all the reports at Eskom including the Denton report that has been withheld for some time.

She said the SIU investigation would be able to get to the bottom of all the problems at Eskom.

Political Bureau

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