Eskom Board to act on Minister's directive

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Pretoria - Power parastatal Eskom has received Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown’s directive to rescind the appointment of Group Chief Executive Brian Molefe.

“The Eskom Board has received the directive from the Minister of Public Enterprises and will meet to finalise the way forward on the issues raised by the Minister,” said the Board on Wednesday evening.

At a media briefing earlier on Wednesday, Minister Brown announced that she has directed the Eskom Board to rescind the reappointment of Molefe.

The Minister said this when the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Eskom -- which was set up by President Jacob Zuma -- held an urgent briefing at the Imbizo Centre in Parliament, Cape Town, on Wednesday.

The decision comes amid mounting concerns from Members of Parliament that Molefe’s return to the power utility was not in the interest of good governance.

“Acting in my capacity as shareholder representative, we met with the Eskom Board today and this is after we have had several engagements with the Board, with the IMC collectively looking at all the facts at our disposal.

“In the interest of the country and of good governance, I have thus directed the Eskom Board to rescind the decision of the reinstatement of Mr Molefe as the Eskom GCE.

“Due process must be followed in the filling of the role of Group CE.

“At today’s meeting, I directed the Board to rescind the decision and the Board must provide me with at least two names from within the executives to act as GCE and I intend appointing an acting GCE within the next 48 hours to ensure continuity,” said Minister Brown.

The Minister’s instruction to the Board comes after the IMC asked the Minister, as the shareholder of Eskom, to intervene in the impasse.

The Eskom Board was, before the decision, opposing a court bid for Molefe’s reappointment to be set aside.

Minister Brown had indicated at a Parliamentary committee meeting last week that she would abide by the court’s decision on the matter.

On Wednesday, the Minister said: “Eskom is an important entity for South Africa and its sovereignty. We therefore have to be decisive in dealing any matter relating to uncertainty in the utility”.

Leading the IMC briefing on Eskom, Justice Minister Michael Masutha earlier said the IMC intervened in the impasse in the interests of the country and of good governance.

Minister Brown said, meanwhile, that as soon as the Eskom Board informs Molefe of the new developments, he will effectively not be the power utility’s CEO anymore. –

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