Brian Molefe

Johannesburg - Cosatu has welcomed Parliament's Public Enterprise Committee’s decision to institute an urgent inquiry over Eskom’s reappointment of Brian Molefe as CEO, saying it hopes it will be a wide-raging investigation.

The federation said on Wednesday that this inquiry would help spare the country of any further humiliation sparked by Molefe’s return to the power utility. 

It also hopes Parliament will consider introducing legislation that would regulate remuneration of both public and private sector executives.  

The committee took the decision on Tuesday following a day of grilling for the Minister of Public Enterprises Lynne Brown and Eskom board chairperson Ben Ngubane – who were questioned on why Molefe was reappointed.

They also faced tough questions from opposition benches and the ANC on the R30 million retirement pay out the board planned to pay Molefe for his early retirement, following his resignation in November 2016.

Brown halted the payment and asked the board to reconsider the amount. 

Cosatu said the ‘Molefe saga’ also placed a spotlight on the culture of exorbitant salaries for company executives.

It said because the country faced a high wage inequity gap between executives and subordinates, it was unacceptable that executives' high salaries went unchallenged.     

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The federation, which is an alliance with the ANC, congratulated the party for sticking to its guns in holding Brown and the Eskom board accountable for their actions.

“We commend the ANC for providing leadership this time around and learning from the SASSA and SABC failure. The ANC needs to respect the mandate of the electorate by ensuring that no government department, political principal or state institution is allowed to act inappropriately without consequences,” Cosatu said