Johannesburg: Brian Molefe has been seconded to Eskom as its acting Chief Executive Officer, Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown announced on Friday.
Briefing reporters on steps to stabilise the power utility, Minister Brown said Molefe’s appointment is with immediate effect.
Molefe is currently the Group Chief Executive Officer at state entity Transnet. Molefe has also served as a Deputy Director General responsible for asset and liability management at National Treasury.
“I’m confident that we can draw on his experience,” said the Minister.
Minister Brown also took the opportunity to thank the former acting chief executive Zethembe Khoza, who was appointed to the post following the three-month suspension of acting CEO Tshediso Matona recently.
The Minister said various consultations with stakeholders, including President Jacob Zuma and Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa and the boards of both Eskom and Transnet, have been held.
The Minister said Eskom, as a strategic asset that needs to operate optimally and contribute to economic growth, needs a full time chief executive that can do the job from the get go.
The Minister said there was nothing wrong with the leadership of Khoza but that the parastatal needs the expertise of someone who has held a leadership position in an institution that is as large as Eskom.
The Minister said Khoza would resume his role as a member of the Eskom board.
As to who would step into Molefe’s shoes at Transnet, the Minister said that a decision on this would be taken on Monday.
Molefe said his first priority at the helm would be to deal with load shedding.
“The immediate priority is to deal with the current load shedding and to minimise it,” said Molefe.
He said the medium term plan of action is to reduce reliance on coal and to increase alternative sources of energy. Minister Brown said the electricity grid is still tight.
Minister addresses stage 4 load shedding rumours
In reply to a question of load shedding entering stage four, the Minister said that such a rumour creates enormous uncertainty.
Further, she said she didn’t expect the country to go into stage three load shedding.
She said the country needs to work on its demand side, as this is the best way to save electricity.
Meanwhile, the Minister said that it would be unfair to cut off power from paying customers. She was responding to news that Eskom plans to interrupt bulk electricity supply to the top 20 defaulting municipalities across the country with effect from 5 June 2015.
She said there were talks to resolve the matter.
“The issue is that municipalities must pay over the money. I also understand that many of the municipalities have systemic problems. Some are not viable,” she said.
SOURCE: South African Official News