LP, NADINE HUTTON

JOHANNESBURG - The Black Business Council on Tuesday wished Jabu Mabuza well in his interim dual roles at Eskom, saying he would ensure the stability and continuity that the state-owned power utility desperately needed.

Public enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan announced on Monday that Mabuza, who has been Eskom's non-executive chairman since January 2018, would serve as acting group chief executive for the debt-ridden company for three months beginning on August 1.

Outgoing chief executive Phakamani Hadebe leaves the post on Wednesday after he resigned in May, saying the excessive demands of the job had adversely affected his health.

"Eskom, which is under severe operational and financial pressures, is too important for South Africa to fail and it currently needs the stability and continuity that Jabu Mabuza would bring," BBC president Sandile Zungu said on Tuesday.

"Ideally an acting person should come from amongst the executives, but the current EXCO members have got more than enough load in their current positions to carry an extra burden."

Eskom's board has committed to concluding the process of identifying a suitable candidate and finalising the appointment of the permanent group chief executive in the next three months.

The BBC encouraged the board to speed up the process, saying the new CEO should hit the ground running and move Eskom, and by extension the country, out of its current difficulties.

Eskom was due to announce its integrated annual results later on Tuesday which were expected to reveal more than R20 billion in losses for this financial year.  

Last week finance minister Tito Mboweni tabled a special appropriation bill to give Eskom an additional R59 billion in funding.

- African News Agency (ANA)