The South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SACCI) has called for the formation of an independent body to appoint boards of State Owned Enterprises (SOEs).
This comes as the Public Enterprises Department this week said it would reconstitute and restructure the board of Eskom, following years of operating without a full board.
Business Leadership South Africa Chief Executive Officer Busi Mavuso is also reported to have tendered her resignation as a board member, leaving the power utility with only five board members.
SACCI says an independent commission staffed by highly skilled and independent individuals could help get the right skills on the SOE boards.
SACCI says many boards and CEOs have come and gone at Eskom but the problems of failure to provide constant and affordable electricity persist.
The organisation is questioning processes that the cabinet follows in the selection, recruitment, and retention as well as performance management of the leadership of SOEs. It says Eskom’s failure harms its members weighing on confidence, affecting production and dragging down the entire economy.
SACCI says different solutions are required to find a fix to the country’s electricity crisis.
“It’s actually really being unfair, the cabinet is being unfair to itself and it is unfair for us to have that level of expectation because people cannot have experience than what they have actually done in their life as well. That’s why we’ve called as a solution and we have always maintained that we should put together an independent commission and of course, it will report to the cabinet. But that independent commission should be staffed by people who are independent, people with a level of professionalism, people who are excellent, experienced and highly regarded in their fields,” says CEO of SACCI Alan Mukoki.
Energy expert Ted Blom says South Africa can’t keep doing the same things and expecting different results.
“What needs to be given a proper rethink and I am sure that within the DPE, they must have access to that skill set, if they don’t they can go and get it, they have got to be free from political interference, really it’s got to be free, we have seen what political interference has done to South Africa. We’ve seen what it’s done to Eskom and it’s not a very good picture, so we can’t do the same things and expect a different outcome. We now need to revisit the grassroots and come up with a recipe that worked,” says Blom.
The country is currently on stage four rolling blackouts as the power utility continues to battle providing constant electricity, citing failing old infrastructure.
Eskom has also announced that it will release its annual financial results by the end of November.
It was supposed to have released results in July this year.
It says this is due to the delayed appointment of external auditors and the work involved in carrying out a new audit.