Meet Eskom’s new board tasked with bringing SA out of darkness

New chairperson Mpho Makwana. Picture:Paballo Thekiso

New chairperson Mpho Makwana. Picture:Paballo Thekiso

Published Sep 30, 2022


South Africa’s Public Enterprises Minister, Pravin Gordhan, on Friday announced the new board at the ailing power utility, Eskom.

The country, which finds itself in one of its worst energy crises in recent history, will have new captains hoping to steer the heavily damaged ship that is Eskom, from 3 October 2022.

Gordhan on Tuesday this week confirmed that he would soon reconstitute and restructure the Eskom board.

The term of the existing Eskom board expired in 2021 and was extended subject to a review.

The Eskom board, chaired by Professor Malegapuru Makgoba, has been seriously plagued by a shortage of skilled directors as seven posts out of 13 have remained vacant following resignations since 2018.

Last week, Gordhan briefed Cabinet on the capacity of Eskom to mitigate the intermittent load shedding after Eskom plunged the country to Stage 6 power cuts twice in as many weeks.

Gordhan said on Friday that the new board was agreed upon on Friday morning, and will serve Eskom for a period of three years.

The minister began his briefing announcing the new members of the board.

The members are:

  1. Mpho Makwana (Chair)
  2. Dr Busisiwe Vilakazi
  3. Mteto Nyati
  4. Lwazi Goqwana
  5. Lesley Mkhabela
  6. Ayanda Mafuleka
  7. Dr Tsakani Mthombeni
  8. Tryphosa Romano
  9. Fathima Ganie
  10. Bheki Ntshalitshali
  11. Clive Le Roux
  12. Rod Crompton

Makwana was sacked from Eskom’s board in 2011 when he served as chairperson.

Of the non-executive members from the previous Eskom Board, only Dr Rod Crompton was retained, with CEO Andre De Ruyter and CFO Calib Cassim remaining as executive board members.

Yesterday, the South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Sacci) pointed fingers at the Cabinet for failing to appoint the right people to the Eskom board, adding that the entire process of appointing board members of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) needed a wholesale review.

Sacci said it remained concerned as to what credible and established process the Cabinet followed in the selection, recruitment, retention and performance management of the leadership in state-owned enterprises (SOEs).

In a statement, Sacci CEO Alan Mukoki said the Cabinet’s role in the failure of SOEs needed to be scrutinised because that may be where the fault lines lay.

“The process of the assessment and performance review is not likely to address the root causes of the Eskom crisis and other SOEs if such review does not include the role of the Cabinet as the appointing authority,” Mukoki said.

“The review ought to include the evaluation of the skills, competencies, experience and performance track record of the selectors and decision makers as well.”

Meet the new board below:

Eskom’s new chairperson, Mpho Makwana. Picture:Paballo Thekiso

Mpho Makwana – holds a Bachelor of Administration, B.Admin, EDP, Post. Grad Diploma, Retailing Management. He is currently Independent non-executive chairman of JSE-listed Arcelor Mittal South Africa Limited as well as Lead Independent Director – Nedbank Group Ltd (NDBKF.PK), Nedbank Ltd. Makwana serves as Chairman of the Advisory Board of the Investing in Africa Mining Indaba, Illovo SA (Pty) Ltd, Gibela Rail (RF) (Pty) Ltd. He is chairperson of SAFCOL SOC Limited and family-owned business Epitome Investments (Pty) Ltd. Non-Executive Director BioTherm Energy (PTY) Ltd; one South Africa’s foremost renewable energy companies. He served as non-executive director of Eskom between 2002 and 2011. Makwana is recommended for appointment as chairperson of the board.

Dr Busisiwe Vilakazi. Image: LinkedIn.

Dr Busisiwe Vilakazi holds a DPhil in Engineering Science from the University of Oxford. She is the Head of Research and Innovation at SITA and a former senior researcher at the CSIR. She has experience and skills in ICT research and innovation, data science and analytics, strategy, digital transformation.

Lwazi Goqwana. Image: Twitter.

Lwazi Goqwana – is an engineer by profession with 25 years of working experience in manufacturing, construction, financial services, logistics, energy and government services. Goqwana has worked for multiple organisations including Unilever, Tiger Brands, Barclays Africa, Transnet, and the Department of Public Enterprises.

Clive Le Roux. Image: :Linkedin.

Clive Le Roux - is a chief nuclear officer at Eskom, an experienced power station manager at Matimba Power Station, and Koeberg Nuclear Power Station. He spent the last 10 years in Eskom as a consultant (Greybeard). Le Roux has strong technical, operational, and human resource skills.

Fathima Gany. Image: LinkedIn.

Fathima Gany – is a finance professional, registered as a full member of the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA). Her career, which spans over 20 years, is predominantly in the role of finance leadership for global, multinational and state-owned entities across Africa and the Middle East. Her broad scope of authority as a senior finance executive includes strategic, corporate and operational finance, accounting, treasury, taxation, contracts and procurement, including public finance.

Ayanda Pearl Zinhle Mafuleka. ImageL Fasset Facebook page.

Ayanda Pearl Zinhle Mafuleka – is a chartered accountant. She is currently the CEO of FASSET, implementing the strategic direction of the SETA. She is the former CFO of the National Credit Regulator.

CEO of Altron Mteto Nyati . Picture: Itumeleng English

Mteto Nyati – holds a BSc in Mechanical Engineering from the University of KwaZulu Natal. He is a former Chief Executive Officer of MTN SA. Mteto has held senior leadership and executive roles in multinational IT companies such as IBM and Microsoft. He is currently the chief executive at Altron. In 2004, he was named one of the Yale University’s World Fellows on Global Leadership.

Dr Tsakani Mthombeni. Image:

Dr Tsakani Mthombeni – obtained a BSc, the MSc and PhD, both in electrical engineering. He served as an external examiner at the University of Pretoria, Cape Town and Stellenbosch University. He was the Chair of the Energy Intensive Users Group (EIUG) of South Africa. Dr Mthombeni is Executive: Sustainable Development at Implats, where he is responsible for developing and implementing the Group’s Sustainable Development strategy. Prior to this role he was Vice President: group head of Carbon and Energy at Gold Fields, leading Gold Fields’s energy management and climate change strategy.

Leslie Mkhabela. Image: LinkedIn.

Leslie Mkhabela – has an LLB and is the director and chairperson of Mkhabela Huntley Attorneys. He is a member of the Black Lawyers Association with expertise in restructuring of state-owned assets, legal practice, commercial and administrative law, and dispute resolution.

Dr Claudelle von Eck. Photo: Supplied

Dr Claudelle von Eck – is an organisational development and change manager and the former CEO of the Institute of Internal Auditors of South Africa (IIA SA). Oversight bodies she serves on includes DIRCO’s Audit Committee, MISTRA Board, remuneration and social ethics committees. She is a fellow member of the IoDSA and member of the COMENSA.

Tryphosa Ramano. Image: LinkedIn.

Ms Tryphosa Ramano – is a chartered accountant and holds a bachelor’s degree in Commerce (BCom) and postgraduate diploma in Accounting and Finance. She is a corporate governance expert, strategist and has experience in financial services, manufacturing, aviation, and entrepreneur. She worked as a chief financial officer in various companies and served as NED in various listed and unlisted companies.

Bheki Ntshalintshali. Picture: Boxer Ngwenya

Bheki Ntshalintshali – former trade unionist, is the former general secretary of Cosatu, having been elected in 2015. In 1994, Ntshalintshali was elected as deputy general secretary of the CWIU, but stood down the following year, to study in England. He returned to South Africa in 1996 and took part in the talks which merged the CWIU into the new Chemical, Energy, Paper, Printing, Wood and Allied Workers’ Union. Later in the year, he became the organising secretary of the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu), rising to become deputy general secretary