21 January 2018

South Africa: New Eskom Board Should Prioritise Stability and Rooting Out

press release

The Democratic Alliance (DA) welcomes the appointment of the new Eskom board. We congratulate the Acting CEO Mr Phakamani Hadebe and Chairperson Mr Jabu Mabuza, both of whom come with excellent track records and vast financial and business experience. We wish them well in their new positions. That said, the board has a mammoth task ahead of it in order to turn things around at the struggling power utility.

Due to years of chronic mismanagement and the toxic influence of the Gupta family, Eskom is facing financial and operational collapse.

This entity has been at the centre of state capture and the board will have to hit the ground running to ensure that Eskom is once again operating efficiently. To do so, the board must prioritise the following key areas of concern:

Appoint qualified and experienced individuals in all senior positions;

Investigate any suspicious contracts and individuals who have been involved in questionable deals, including senior executives and former board members;

Prioritise Eskom's financial stability and attract more investment; and

Recover all monies that have been syphoned from the power utility.

These are only a few of the immediate actions that need to be taken by the new board, but the DA believes that these are important steps to re-establish good governance and restore the public's faith in the utility.

Of course, the appointment of the new board does not mean that the indiscretions of their predecessors should be forgotten.

The previous Eskom board has been heavily implicated in allegations of state capture and the appointment of the new board by no means absolves them from wrongdoing. All those responsible for the decline at Eskom must be held accountable and we will continue to use every platform to fiercely go after all those accused of state capture.

The DA, along with the public, will keep a very close eye on the developments at Eskom under the new board.

Natasha Mazzone MP

DA Shadow Minister of Public Enterprises

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