Eskom Chairperson Jabu Mabuza resigns

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President Cyril Ramaphosa has noted the resignation of Jabu Mabuza as member and Chairperson of the Board of Eskom Limited. Mabuza tendered his resignation on Friday.

In his resignation letter Mabuza apologised for Eskom’s inability to meet the commitment it made to the President, the Deputy President and the relevant Ministers at a meeting on December 11 to avoid load shedding over this period.

However, Stage 2 load shedding was implemented again last Friday following breakdowns that caused the loss of 13 543 megawatts from the grid.

At the meeting, 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.

President Ramaphosa has expressed his gratitude to Mabuza for serving Eskom and the nation during a challenging period.

He has commended Mabuza for taking responsibility and accepting accountability for events under his leadership.

“The government continues to support the measures being taken by Eskom to restore reliable electricity supply as a matter of priority, and is proceeding with measures to introduce new generation capacity – including self-generation in the shortest possible time,” reads the statement.

The President says the government will soon announce a re-configured Eskom board with the appropriate mix of electricity industry, engineering and corporate governance experience.

The President wishes Mabuza well in his future endeavours and his existing leadership roles in various sectors of the economy.

The Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan has also accepted Mabuza’s resignation.

On Thursday, Deputy President David Mabuza accused Eskom of misleading the President when he was told that there will be no load shedding until 13 January.

Eskom has battled to keep the lights on this week, citing loss of generation capacity and insufficient reserves to meet electricity demand.

It now says its pumped storage schemes have been sufficiently replenished, and it continues to work to improve on the levels of diesel at open cycle gas turbine generators.

The embattled power utility says the emergency reserves will be used to supplement generation capacity on Friday. It says the system remains vulnerable to breakdowns.

In another battle, the power utility will be in the North Gauteng High Court next week asking for a review of NERSA’s decision on the fourth Multi-year price determination.

The power utility and the regulator have been at loggerheads after NERSA’s decision to deduct the R69 billion that the government has provided to Eskom as shareholder support.

Eskom woes    

Cosatu parliamentary representative, Matthew Parks, reacts to the resignation of Jabu Mabuza.