Jabu Mabuza resigns as Eskom chair

Eskom chairman Jabu Mabuza has resigned from his position at the power utility.

His resignation took place today, 10 January 2020, and followed several days of consistent load-shedding.

The office of President Cyril Ramaphosa said Mabuza wrote a letter as part of his resignation announcement, in which he apologised for Eskom’s inability to meet the commitment it made to the president to avoid load-shedding from 11 December 2019 to 13 January 2020.

“Eskom presented plans to ensure that the risk of load-shedding would be eliminated during the holiday period until 13 January 2020. Eskom also outlined the risks affecting the national grid,” said Ramaphosa’s office.

“Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan has accepted Mr Mabuza’s resignation. 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.”

It went on to state that the government will soon announce a “reconfigured Eskom board with the appropriate mix of electricity industry, engineering, and corporate governance experience”.

Mabuza’s role

Mabuza, the former chairman of Telkom, was announced as Eskom’s new chairman in January 2018.

He was appointed as part of a plan to “stabilise management” at the power utility.

More recently, in July 2019, Mabuza was appointed acting CEO of Eskom after Phakamani Hadebe stepped down due to his health suffering from the “unimaginable demands” of the job.

Mabuza was described as a “safe pair of hands” by Raymond Parsons, a professor at North-West University’s Business School in Potchefstroom, at the time – and the move was called a “positive development”.

Following several months at the helm, Mabuza stepped back as Andre de Ruyter was selected as the new CEO of Eskom – starting his job earlier this month.

Weekend load shedding

Eskom announced that there is no load shedding expected on Saturday.

However, it warned that its systems are still extremely vulnerable, and that the risk of load shedding being implemented on Saturday evening and again on Sunday were high.

Read: Eskom will slash its pollution by 2035 – but wants an exemption now

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Jabu Mabuza resigns as Eskom chair