Sikonathi Mantshantsha goes from biggest critic to Eskom mouthpiece

Seasoned business journalist and fierce Eskom critic Sikonathi Mantshantsha has stepped over to what some may call the “dark” side to, according to his new boss André de Ruyter “improve Eskom’s image, [and] to add another layer of success to our media response strategies…”. It seems bizarre, especially what he also had to say about executive pay. So, has he gone soft or will he fight the good fight from within? This remains to be seen.Editor

Sikonathi Mantshantsha appointed as Eskom spokesperson

Full press release

Eskom has appointed seasoned financial journalist Sikonathi Mantshantsha to lead its media liaison team as national spokesperson. Mantshantsha will take up the role on 1 February 2020.

André de Ruyter, Eskom Group Chief Executive, announced the appointment to Eskom employees earlier today calling on them to welcome Mantshantsha saying, “I am happy to announce Sikonathi Mantshantsha will be joining the Eskom team, in Corporate Affairs, as our Media Liaison. His appointment is a firm step from our side to strengthen our efforts to improve Eskom’s image, to add another layer of success to our media response strategies in order to be more direct and proactive when engaging with media and other interest groups.”

Sikonathi has extensive media experience and has worked within this industry since 2004. Starting as the Chief Editorial Researcher at Media24, he later joined FinWeek and Fin24.com as a financial journalist for five years. In November 2010, he was presented with an opportunity to join Bloomberg News as the Equities, Industrial and Markets Reporter. Two years later he joined Business Day and Financial Mail as an Investment and Energy Writer, a role that saw him interact extensively with energy issues and with Eskom in particular.

In 2015, Mantshantsha was promoted to Money and Investment Editor and later became the Deputy Editor of the Financial Mail, where he remained until June 2019. In July 2019, he was appointed the Associate Director of the Daily Maverick & Scorpio. Sikonathi is well respected within the media industry and has shown increased growth and authority in each of his roles.

Before joining the media, Mantshantsha worked for six years in the stockbroking and investment industry. He holds certificates from the University of Johannesburg, Wits Business School and the South African Institute of Financial Markets.

“We are pleased that Mantshantsha has agreed to join Eskom at this pivotal moment, where our need to create and maintain a positive public image of our company is at its peak, where there is heightened need for effective and proactive strategies to engage the media and other interest parties, and lastly to support the Board, Group Chief Executive and members of the Executive Committee. His extensive media experience, specifically within the energy industry will benefit his transition into Eskom and allow him to adapt quickly to this dynamic environment. I, together with EXCO, am convinced that he will certainly add another layer of success to our efforts to change the fortunes of Eskom,” added de Ruyter.

De Ruyter ended by thanking Eskom’s Deputy Spokesperson who has been fulfilling the role: “I would like to thank Dikatso Mothae and the team that was supporting her while she handled the responsibilities of an Eskom Spokesperson”.

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