File picture: Independent Media

Johannesburg - The Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa) on Monday, said that the appointment of the new board of directors at power utility Eskom provided the country with the hope that the embattled state-owned power utility can still be salvaged.

This comes after government over the weekend announced a wholesale changes at Eskom with new board to be chaired by businessman Jabu Mabuza and Phakamani Hadebe as interim chief executive. 

Zethembe Khoza resigned as Eskom chairman while suspended chief financial officer Anoj Singh, and former chief executive Matshela Koko, were asked to step down due to allegations of corruption against them.

The restructuring of Eskom now falls directly under the supervision of Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa as ministers of finance, public enterprises and energy will be reporting to him.

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Outa chief executive, Wayne Duvenage, said that the appointment of the new board and the resumption this week of the inquiry into Eskom by the Portfolio Committee on Public Enterprises signal the start of an entirely new energy and the renewal of Eskom.

"We welcome the change in leadership and especially the inclusion of experienced business, finance and engineering leaders who will do far more to address the challenges faced by Eskom than any of their predecessors in the past decade," Duvenage said.

"There are clear indications that the new board has been tasked to rearrange the operational management team and structures, thereby restoring much needed efficiency and cost cutting to prevent the Eskom ship from sinking."

Duvenage said that Outa commends those brave Eskom managers who stood against corruption and wrote to Ramaphosa to demand the removal of the corrupt management and board. 

He said that they hope that these changes have come in time but all indications are that taking back Eskom will be a massive salvage job. 

 African News Agency/ANA