Minister of Public Enterprises Pravin Gordhan on Monday appointed Eskom chairperson Jabu Mabuza as the acting chief executive of the embattled state-owned power producer following the resignation of Phakamani Hadebe, who leaves office next week.
Gordhan said in a statement that Mabuza would temporarily serve as both executive chairperson of Eskom and acting chief executive of Eskom. “Within the three-month period during which Mr Mabuza will be the executive chairperson and acting chief executive, the Eskom board will conclude the process of identifying a suitable candidate to become the next Eskom group chief executive.”
Mabuza is the utility’s 14th chief executive since 1994, in what is arguably one of the toughest jobs in South Africa.
Hadebe resigned from the role in May, citing the negative impact on his health due to the demands of the task to turn around the fortunes of the debt-laden power producer.
Eskom’s debt now accounts for more than 8.5 percent of gross domestic product and was recently handed another lifeline by the government to the tune of an additional R59 billion to meet its debt obligations.