The Democratic Alliance says in a statement it is “concerned” at the latest announcement by Eskom Chairperson, Zola Tsotsi, that an inquiry will be looking at Eskom’s poor generation capacity, cash flow issues and other problems. While this three month inquiry is ongoing, four of the poser “utility’s” executives are being sidelined.
The DA has written to Minister of Public Enterprises, Lynne Brown asking her her to account to Parliament that the members of the inquiry panel will be appointed without delay, that they will complete their work expeditiously and table their findings in Parliament. The surprise institution of such an inquiry, at a time when Eskom is buffeted by a myriad of crises, raises serious questions as to who will lead the country out of the darkness imposed by daily load shedding.
The executives, aside from the CEO, who have been asked to step down while the enquiry is underway, are Ms Tsholofelo Molefe (Finance Director), Mr Dan Marokane (Group Capital) and Mr Matshela Koko (Commercial and Technology).
This in effect leaves Eskom without its top management at a time when concerted effort by its leaders is sorely needed. Minister Brown must be forthcoming with reasons as to why this step was taken now and reassure the South African public that no hidden agendas are being pursued in the name of good corporate governance. The problems at Eskom, though partially attributable to the lack of Motana’s direct private sector experience, are not his creation. His short tenure of barely 6 months pales in comparison with the sheer incompetence of former CEO, Brian Dames, who was rewarded with a golden parachute of over R5 million after overseeing the virtual collapse of Eskom.
Eskom’s woes are historic and deeply entrenched and the institution of an inquiry at this time raises far more questions than it answers.