Clearing out the Zuptas: Lynne Brown unveils new Eskom interim board

By Yolandi Groenewald and Matthew le Cordeur, Fin24

Johannesburg – Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown has unveiled an interim Eskom board, which has the uphill challenge of steering the state-owned power utility out of its quagmire of controversies.

Read: Veteran Eskom insider Johnny Dladla appointed acting group CEO

She has appointed four new interim members to the board to bring it to nine. There should be 15 members, Brown told media on Friday. They are interim board members until she takes it to Cabinet, she said.

The new members are Pulane Molokwane, Simphiwe Dingaan, Banothele Makubile and Sathia Seelan Gounden.

Brown has been hinting at an overhaul of the Eskom board since Brian Molefe’s controversial R30m early pension pay-out and brief return as chief executive.

An Eskom Generation sign sits on display at the Grootvlei power station, operated by Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd., in Grootvlei, South Africa. Photographer: Dean Hutton/Bloomberg

Board member Zethembe Khoza was last week made interim chairperson after Ben Ngubane resigned, citing personal reasons.

Khoza was reappointed to the board, as was Pat Naidoo and Giovanni Leonardi.

Joining the board is Eskom veteran Johnny Dladla, who was appointed acting group chief executive on Thursday. Eskom CFO Anoj Singh is the other board member.

Brown has ordered the board to finalise the appointment of a permanent chief executive, EWN reported.

Public Enterprises minister Lynne Brown

What the new leadership faces:

  • Molefe has taken Eskom to the Labour Court regarding taken his pension and appointment reversal, while the Economic Freedom Fighters and Democratic Alliance are continuing with their High Court application regarding Molefe’s reappointment, which has been postponed pending the Labour Court process. However, that court barred Molefe from returning to work pending the outcome of the hearings.
  • Eskom is set to be investigated by the Special Investigating Unit, after Brown instructed the branch to probe all coal contracts and tenders at Eskom. It requires President Jacob Zuma’s approval.
  • A Parliamentary inquiry into the maladministration, governance problems and procurement issues at Eskom will officially commence in the first week of August 2017, when the legislature resumes its activities for the third quarter.
  • The Public Protector will conduct a preliminary investigation to determine the merits of some of the allegations that have been published as part of the #GuptaLeaks saga pointing to issues at Eskom, the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa and Transnet. There is still the recommendation by the former Public Protector that Zuma appoint a judicial inquiry into allegations of state capture regarding Eskom, Molefe and the Guptas.


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