Gordhan tells Eskom board to start packing their bags

The Department of Public Enterprises (DPE) has announced that minister Pravin Gordhan will reconstitute and restructure Eskom’s Board of Directors.

There are several board members whose terms had expired in 2021 but were extended subject to review, which the minister has now completed.

“On Tuesday, the Minister informed the board that a review has been finalised and that the Board will soon be reconstituted and restructured,” the DPE said in a statement.

It added that Gordhan would inform the board members of the outcome of the process in due course.

The DPE said government would discuss the reconstitution of a new and restructured Eskom Board soon, adding that it would make an announcement after that.

“The Minister has been in constant engagements with the board on various matters pertaining to the current generation challenges and other energy-related matters such as procurement, recruitment of former and experienced Eskom employees, and combating fraud and corruption,” it said.

“Minister Gordhan thanked the current Board for their service during the most challenging period of the entity.”

The announcement follows a Sunday Times report on the weekend citing government insiders who said the Presidency met with the DPE about installing a new Eskom board.

According to the report, deliberations should be finalised in the coming week, after which President Cyril Ramaphosa should provide a list of names for proposed replacement board members.

The Sunday paper’s sources reportedly said that Ramaphosa’s cabinet decided there must be severe consequences for Eskom’s current state.

South Africa has seen continuous load-shedding since Tuesday, 6 September. Eskom’s power cuts started at stage 2 but ramped up to stage 6 by Sunday, 18 September.

After recovering some generating capacity, Eskom reduced load-shedding to stage 5 on Tuesday midnight, 20 September.

Stage 5 load-shedding continued until Saturday morning, reducing to stage 4 from 05:00 on Saturday to 05:00 on Sunday, then stage 3 until 05:00 on Monday.

Eskom is currently load-shedding at stage 3 during off-peak periods between midnight and 16:00, and stage 4 over the evening peaks.

Ramaphosa’s cabinet ministers reportedly said the whole board and executive team must be sacked. However, the meeting was adjourned before the discussion could conclude.

Additional reporting by Jan Vermeulen.

Now read: How Eskom’s proposed price overhaul will impact Pretoria residents

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Gordhan tells Eskom board to start packing their bags