Eskom chairperson Mpho Makwana announced on Monday that the struggling power utility had shortlisted five candidates for the CEO position, following a protracted process after the resignation of Andre de Ruyter.
De Ruyter resigned from Eskom in December 2022 after three tumultuous years at the helm, but agreed to stay on for three months until the end of March to facilitate a smooth transition.
However, he did not finish his notice period after an explosive TV interview in February in which he made serious allegations of corruption against the ruling party’s politicians, and two unnamed government ministers.
Since then, Eskom has been searching for a suitable candidate to head the institution while chief financial officer Cassim Calib holds the fort in an acting capacity.
Speaking at the NECOM Demand Management Indaba, Makwana said he could not stay long at the event as he had a meeting about the appointment of the new CEO.
“We’ve been quite advanced in the shortlisting process for the next CEO of Eskom such that we now have a small shortlist of five candidates,” Makwana said.
“And so this meeting that I need to attend around 11am is related to that.”
However, the identities of the shortlisted candidates remain confidential so that the process is untainted by external influences.
According to the advertisement published by Eskom at the end of February, the new group CEO must have a postgraduate degree in engineering, business administration, economics or a suitable qualification at NQF level 8 with 480 credits.
However, an undergraduate degree, with an MBA or other relevant postgraduate degree, would be an advantage.
In terms of experience, the prospective candidate must have at least 15 - 20 years’ senior management experience at executive committee level.
They must also have a solid track record of working in a complex environment, leading business turnaround, ideally within emerging markets; among others.
The new CEO must demonstrate a solid understanding of global trends within the energy sector and their applicability to local market conditions, and have a demonstrable and sustainable track record of turning around commercially and operationally challenged organisations.
in the meantime, Makwana said the board would be working to support the executive management in ensuring that Eskom achieves the Energy Availability Factor of 60%, 65%, and 70% over the next three financial year ends.
“From a board perspective, we believe we need to continue along this path of supporting our Eskom executives to fix the system for improved energy availability factor, find opportunities to add more megawatts into the grid, and finding innovative ways and means of ensuring we manage our energy efficiency,” he said.