Johannesburg - The leadership at Eskom has severed yet another executive after the departure of Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Andre de Ruyter. Former Eskom Chief Operating Officer (COO) Jan Oberholzer has resigned from the power utility.
Eskom, in a statement, said that Oberholzer was on a fixed-term contract to provide support to the Koeberg Nuclear Power Station long-term operation (LTO) and Kusile Power Station projects.
“Eskom expresses gratitude to Mr. Jan Oberholzer for his dedicated service, expertise, and valuable contributions during his tenure. We wish him well in his future endeavours,” read the statement.
The trade union organisation Solidarity said that they were dismayed to learn about Jan Oberholzer’s departure from Eskom after years of selfless service in extremely difficult conditions.
As the former chief operating officer, Oberholzer’s tenure of 30 years came to an end in April this year. However, he has since agreed to make an ongoing contribution to the organisation as a consultant, and he will oversee projects at Koeberg and Kusile in the near future. Unexpectedly, this two-year consultation period will now, at the end of July, be terminated early.
Solidarity’s chief executive, Dr Dirk Hermann, expressed regret at the news of Oberholzer’s sudden departure; he called him a modern-day hero and someone whose role will still be appreciated throughout history.
“He was an Eskomite through and through. His technical knowledge came at the right time to avoid an implosion at Eskom. He could stem the speed of deterioration at Eskom. It is a pity that it is now coming to an end,” Hermann said.
Hermann said it was his work that kept Eskom going through dark times.
“His actions possibly also won time for the private sector to enter power generation in the country,” added Hermann.
Oberholzer’s resignation comes just months after Eskom Group Chief Executive Andre de Ruyter tendered his resignation.
After his resignation former Eskom COO Matshela Koko had said it was no coincidence that the CEO had resigned, saying this was the consequence of the board's evaluation of De Ruyter’s performance, which had been nothing short of dismal.
He said the resignation was twofold: the evaluation of executives and the announcement of COO Jan Oberholzer, and now we have the resignation of the CEO.
“This may have been the consequence of the board having evaluated the performance of the executives, which have culminated today,” he said.
Calib Cassim replaced de Ruyter as the Interim Group Chief Executive.
In May last year, it was announced the resignation of Phillip Dukashe, Group Executive for Generation; he was replaced by Rhulani Mathebula in an acting role, who also resigned a couple of months later, in November.
The entity’s spokesperson, Sikonathi Mantshantsha, also left after three years with the utility in February this year. Daphne Mokwena replaced Mantshantsha on an interim basis.