The Rapport newspaper reported that Eskom CEO Phakamani Hadebe collapsed twice at his office this year and was driven away by ambulance.
This followed news on Friday that Hadebe has resigned and will step down as Eskom chief executive at the end of July 2019.
Citing a well-placed source, Rapport said Hadebe’s suffered from severe stress and handed in his resignation twice before. He was, however, asked to stay on until after the elections.
As part of his resignation, Hadebe said the role of Eskom CEO comes with unimaginable demands which have unfortunately had a negative impact on his health.
“In the best interests of Eskom and my family, I have therefore decided to step down,” said Hadebe.
Energy Expert comments
EE Publishers and energy expert Chris Yelland confirmed Hadebe’s health problems, but added that the Eskom CEO’s resignation at this point is no coincidence.
He said there is a “whole lot of things coming together right now” and that the new cabinet announcement may have also played a role in Hadebe’s decision.
Eskom is also set to present its latest financial results to the board on Tuesday, which are expected to be disastrous with a loss of over R20 billion.
Yelland added that Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan’s hands-on approach with Eskom may have raised questions whether Hadebe was trusted as Eskom CEO.
Speaking to Rapport, Eskom board chairperson Jabu Mabuza said that Hadebe’s resignation was unexpected but understandable.
“Luckily we’ll still work together for another two months during the transition period,” Mabuza said. “It’s going to be a challenge replacing him.”
Anton Eberhard, the chairperson of Ramaphosa’s task team on Eskom’s sustainability, tweeted that Hadebe’s resignation had been expected since April.
“Thank goodness. What has been known behind the scenes since April is now official and public,” Eberhard said.
“Now we need urgently to strengthen both executive management and the Board at South Africa’s national power utility.”