Professor Malegapuru Makgoba has been appointed as Eskom's interim chairman. Picture: Thobile Mathonsi/African News Agency/ANA

Johannesburg - The appointment of leading scientist and academic Professor Malegapuru Makgoba as interim chairman at electricity producer Eskom is not what the struggling power utility needs to turn it around, South Africa's main opposition Democratic Alliance said on Thursday.

The government announced Makgoba's appointment on Wednesday - after Eskom chairman Jabu Mabuza resigned last week -- saying it was in the process of putting in place a reconfigured board.

On Thursday, the DA said whilst Makgoba's credentials may be impressive, they were of no use in the power generation and transmission industry which was facing "a crisis of note".

"The appointment defies logic and his previous roles in governance at universities has been questioned," DA legislator and shadow minister of public enterprises Ghaleb Cachalia said in a statement.

"The DA has repeatedly called for an independent new chairman, with the appropriate financial and technical knowledge, to be instated by the shareholder – one who is grounded in solid ethical governance."

He said there were global energy executives with deep operational, financial and restructuring experience who could fulfill the role of Eskom chairman.

"The shareholder should consider the appointment of a chairperson from candidates of this sort of caliber who already have a handle on Eskom’s operational and financial issues, and who will evince the measure of independence required," said Cachalia.

"The appointment of Professor Makgoba in the interim, his medical credentials notwithstanding, does little to instill the required confidence."

African News Agency/ANA