Eskom board chair Jabu Mabuza resigns over load-shedding

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Eskom board chair Jabu Mabuza has resigned from the board of the power utility a day after Deputy President David Mabuza said the board misled President Cyril Ramaphosa on load-shedding.

The presidency said in a statement that Mabuza tendered his resignation on Friday.

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Minister of public enterprises Pravin Gordhan accepted Mabuza’s resignation from the position he had been in since 2018.

“In his resignation letter Mr Mabuza apologised for Eskom’s inability to meet the commitment it made to the president, the deputy president and the relevant ministers at a meeting on December 11 2019 to avoid load-shedding over this period,” Ramaphosa’s spokesperson Khusela Diko said.

At this meeting, Eskom presented plans to ensure that the risk of load-shedding would be eliminated during the holiday period until January 13 2020. Eskom also outlined the risks affecting the national grid.

“President Ramaphosa has expressed his gratitude to Mr Mabuza for serving Eskom and the nation during a challenging period and has commended Mr Mabuza for taking responsibility and accepting accountability for events under his leadership,” Diko said.

Deputy President David Mabuza told reporters on Thursday that Ramaphosa was misled.

“They’ve misled the president, but right from the day we went there with the president I insisted on maintenance,” he said to journalists on the sidelines of an ANC blitz in Kimberley on Thursday.

In response Diko said the deputy president did not infer any malicious intent.

“In the wake of Mr Mabuza’s resignation, government will soon announce a reconfigured Eskom board with the appropriate mix of electricity industry, engineering and corporate governance experience,” Diko said on Friday.

She said the government continued to support the measures being taken by Eskom to restore reliable electricity supply as a matter of priority, and was proceeding with measures to introduce new generation capacity — including self-generation — in the shortest possible time.


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