Johannesburg - The newly appointed Eskom board should speedily start with the process of identifying and recruiting the best permanent executive talent for Eskom, the South African Chamber Commerce and Industry (SACCI) said on Sunday.

SACCI welcomed the appointment of the new board of Eskom, SACCI CEO Alan Mukoki said.

"We hope that under the chairmanship of Mr Jabu Mabuza the new board will get on with the urgent mammoth task of stabilising Eskom and fixing its governance structures and processes to stabilise the corporation," he said.

Eskom had big problems with its mega capital projects and ability to trade out of the difficult financial and operational challenges it faces. SACCI also welcomed the statement that the board had been tasked with finding a suitable candidate to fill up the position of group CEO.

"The Eskom board should speedily start with the process of identifying and recruiting the best permanent executive talent for Eskom.  At this time the board has an opportunity not to compromise on a suitable candidate with competence, experience, and a performance track-record and leadership capabilities.

"We encourage the board to look for and find the best talent locally or abroad. Eskom’s challenges require this aspect to be taken very seriously and diligently," Mukoki said.

On Saturday, Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa announced far reaching measures intended to improve governance as well as restore the integrity of Eskom.

He said Phakamani Hadebe had been appointed acting CEO with immediate effect, while Telkom chairman Jabu Mabuza would take over as chairman of the Eskom board. All Eskom executives facing allegations of serious corruption and other acts of impropriety, including Matshela Koko and Anoj Singh, would be "removed immediately". The new board had also been instructed to appoint a permanent group chief executive officer and a group financial officer within the next three months.

This followed a meeting of President Jacob Zuma, Ramaphosa, Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown, and Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba on Friday to address urgent problems at the company. This intervention would be ratified by Cabinet at its next meeting.

"Eskom is critical to the South African economy. As a key enabler of economic growth and social transformation any further deterioration of Eskom’s financial and operational conditions could have a severe impact on the country."

The company had been facing several problems, including a weak financial position, declining revenues, and governance failures, which threatened the sustainability of the company in future.

Therefore, government had decided on immediate measures to strengthen governance and management. This was the first step towards restoring confidence in the company, improving its financial position, and restoring its operational performance, he said.

The new board members are Jabu Mabuza (chairman); Sifiso Dabengwa; Sindi Mabaso-Koyana; Mark Lamberti; Tshepo Mongalo; Malegapuru Makgoba; Busisiwe Mavuso; Nelisiwe Magubane; Rod Crompton; George Sebulela; Pulane Molokwane; Banothile Makhubela; and Jacky Molisane.

“We are confident this intervention will restore the important contribution Eskom makes to our economy. We are determined to address the damage that has been done to this institution and place it on a new path of efficiency and integrity," said Ramaphosa.

African News Agency/ANA