So long Matona: Eskom and CEO part ways

Matona Eskom
Eskom’s CEO Tshediso Matona is allegedly leaving the power utility on amicable terms

By Peroshni Govender; Editing by James Macharia

JOHANNESBURG, May 18 (Reuters) – South Africa’s power firm Eskom said on Monday it had agreed to “amicably” part ways with its chief executive who was suspended pending an inquiry into operations at the struggling utility.

Tshediso Matona and three other senior members of his team were suspended in March by state-owned Eskom, which supplies 95 percent of electricity to Africa’s most advanced economy and is struggling to meet demand.

“It is expressly noted that no misconduct or wrongdoing is alleged by Eskom against Mr Matona,” the utility said in a statement.

South Africa’s labour court dismissed an attempt by Matona to have his suspension lifted in March and said the matter should be settled through mediation.

Matona said he will leave Eskom “in the course of the month” in a letter to Eskom staff and contractors seen by Reuters.

“It is with mixed feelings as I take this route, as I know how important Eskom and its people are to our country as a whole,” Matona wrote.

Standard & Poor’s in March cut its credit ratings for the cash-strapped Eskom to junk following Matona’s suspension.

The government appointed veteran public service executive Brian Molefe as acting CEO in April to revamp the utility.

South Africa’s Treasury is considering a proposal to partially privatise Eskom or sell some of its assets in order to secure further funding to expand generating capacity.