SA Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa has appointed a new board at power utility Eskom and named Telkom’s chairman Jabu Mabuza as its new chairman. Image: Dumisani Sibeko.
JOHANNESBURG - Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa has appointed a new board at state-owned power utility Eskom and named Telkom’s chairman Jabu Mabuza as its new chairman, the presidency said on Saturday.

Eskom has been in a leadership crisis after several board members, including the chairman and chief executive, resigned in 2017 amid growing concerns about governance at the country’s sole electricity provider.

The presidency also said in a statement that the government has recommended the appointment of Phakamani Hadebe as acting group Chief Executive of Eskom, with immediate effect.

Eskom, which supplies virtually all of the power for Africa’s most advanced economy, has been embroiled in governance and graft crises and has delayed its interim results, a move that could see trading of its debt suspended on the Johannesburg bourse.

Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba said on Thursday the Treasury could not afford to bail the firm out but would take unspecified action soon to tackle the company’s challenges.

Earlier it was reported that ANC president and SA's deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa wanted a new Eskom board to be announced before he leaves for the World Economic Forum on Sunday. Ramaphosa is leading South Africa’s delegation to WEF in Davos next week.

The members of the new boar are as follows:

  • Jabu Mabuza as chairperson
  • Sifiso Dabengwa
  • Sindi Mabaso-Koyana
  • Mark Lamberti
  • Prof Tshepo Mongalo
  • Prof Malegapuru Makgoba
  • Busisiwe Mavuso
  • Nelisiwe Magubane
  • Dr Rod Crompton
  • George Sebulela
  • Dr Pulane Molokwane
  • Dr Banothile Makhubela
  • Jacky Molisane

Mabuza told Timeslive, “I am very humbled, privileged and honoured to serve our nation. It’s no small task, I know. That being said, someone has to do it. Having just joined the board, I will need to familiarise myself with this very big and critical national asset. I’m afraid, it’s not appropriate for me at this point to make any public announcement about Telkom, pending its release of interim results.”

In a statement released by the ruling party, the African National Congress (ANC), the party stated that it welcomed the decisive action taken by government to speedily intervene to address the challenges plaguing state energy utility, Eskom. Far reaching measures intended to improve governance as well as restore the integrity of the state owned company were announced today in a statement released by Ramaphosa.

"The appointment of an experienced, qualified and credible leadership to the Board of Eskom, as well as the injunction to immediately remove all executives implicated in corruption and other acts of impropriety at Eskom is in line with the key priorities of the African National Congress drawn from the 54th National Conference and the January 8 statement to restore the credibility of public institutions, state owned enterprises and law enforcement agencies. It is also practical action responding to our commitment to confront corruption and state capture in all its forms," the ANC said in a statement. 

"The African National Congress wishes the newly appointed Board of Directors as well as Acting CEO Mr Phakamani Hadebe well in their quest to return Eskom to its rightful place as a high-performance organization with an ethical leadership at the helm. We further assure them of our unwavering support in their mission to serve the public in line with their development mandate," the statement concluded.