Business Unity South Africa (BUSA) has expressed extreme disappointment at the announcement made by Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown of the newly appointed Eskom Board, which retains most members who during their previous term have enabled the current crisis that Eskom finds itself in.
Brown announced the new board, which comprises current interim chairperson Zethembe Khoza and interim members Pat Naidoo, Giovanni Leonardi, Pulane Molokwane, Simphiwe Dingaan, Banothile Makhubela, Sathiaseelan Gounden, plus two new members, Malegapuru Makgoba and Tshepo Mongalo.
“Whilst business welcomes the addition of Professor Makgoba and Dr Mongalo to the board based on their academic standing and previous leadership experience, the overall combination of the board is a further blow to Eskom’s sustainability. It lacks the requisite energy sector, business, governance and financial management experience that the country needs.” BUSA CEO Tanya Cohen said.
BUSA expressed concern with the lack of stability in the energy sector considering the Eskom Board; issues around the central energy fund portfolio including Petro SA and the Strategic Fuel Fund; and the lack of consultation on the Integrated Resource Plan. BUSA also reiterated that the eradication of wasteful and fruitless expenditure and curtailing losses of State-owned Enterprises (SOEs), and particularly Eskom, requires urgent support and implementation given the impact that the Eskom finances have on the national fiscus.
“South Africa simply does not have the funds necessary to provide financial support to chronically underperforming SOEs such as Eskom. This needs to be addressed as a matter of urgency, which is why business believes that it is of crucial importance that the Board of Eskom should comprise of experienced and accountable businessmen and women capable of turning Eskom’s economic fortunes around and ensuring good governance,” Cohen concluded.