Analysts, labour call for axing of Eskom board 

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As Eskom struggles to keep the lights on, analysts and labour are calling for the axing of the entire Eskom board.

This follows the resignation of Eskom’s board chairperson Jabu Mabuza last week Friday after he failed to keep his promise to President Cyril Ramaphosa that there would be no load shedding until the 13th of this month.

Eskom has been implementing rolling blackouts due to breakdowns since last week.

Problems at the power utility have put pressure on the President to act decisively against the board of Eskom and Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan.

The National Union of Metal Workers of South Africa (Numsa) has called for the axing of what it deems an incompetent Eskom board saying both government and the board have failed to fix the power utility.

The union also slammed the utility’s insistence on blaming poor maintenance for the recent load shedding as disingenuous.

Numsa spokesperson, Phakamile Hlubi-Majola says: “From the time that President Cyril Ramaphosa made the announcement of the board, we said that this was a disastrous appointment, and we’ve been absolutely unfortunately been proven correct…….their lack of experience is having a detrimental impact on Eskom.”

Numsa further calls for the removal of Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan saying he appears to lack the leadership required to fix the debt-burdened power utility.

“The Minister has demonstrated that he lacks the skills, he lacks the capacity, he lacks the understanding of what it takes in order to run the division he’s tasked with running. So, it’s very clear for us that the Minister is not the right person for this portfolio”, adds Hlubi-Majola.

Meanwhile, Energy expert, Ted Blom, says government lacks the political will to fix Eskom’s power capacity woes.

Blom says Eskom’s leadership is not fully equipped to run the power utility:

“There is no political will to spend the money to fix Eskom. It seems to me, the political will is to keep on taking us into a 3rd world state. You can’t put people into a critical position who have spent two years learning about the job. This is a disaster situation and again with the new appointment of the CEO, we have been sitting with people that are in critical positions that haven’t got a clue how to run the utility. It is unfortunate to have to say this but that is where we are.”

Last week, President Cyril Ramaphosa said that he was looking to making changes to the Eskom board as part of the implementation of the power utilities rescue plan.