CAPE TOWN, South African Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown has directed the board of power utility Eskom to to rescind the re-appointment of its group chief executive officer, Brian Molefe, in line with a decision taken by the Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC) set up to look into affairs at Eskom, including Molefe’s re-appointment.

The inter-ministerial committee held an urgent meeting here Wednesday amidst mounting concerns among Members of Parliament that Molefe’s return to the State-owned power utility was not in the interest of good governance.

Acting in my capacity as shareholder representative, we met with the Eskom Board today and this is after we have had several engagements with the Board, with the IMC collectively looking at all the facts at our disposal. In the interest of the country and of good governance, I have thus directed the Eskom Board to rescind the decision of the reinstatement of Mr Molefe as the Eskom GCE,” Brown said after the IMC meeting.

Due process must be followed in the filling of the role of Group Chief Executive (GCE). At today’s meeting, I directed the Board to rescind the decision and the Board must provide me with at least two names from within the executives to act as GCE and I intend appointing an acting GCE within the next 48 hours to ensure continuity.”

Her instruction to the Board came after the IMC asked her, as the government-appointed shareholder of Eskom, to intervene in the impasse. The Eskom Board was, before the decision, opposing a court bid for Molefe’s re-appointment to be set aside.

Brown had indicated at a Parliamentary committee meeting last week that she would abide by the court’s decision on the matter.

On Wednesday, the Minister said: Eskom is an important entity for South Africa and its sovereignty. We therefore have to be decisive in dealing any matter relating to uncertainty in the utility.

Leading the IMC briefing on Eskom, Justice Minister Michael Masutha earlier said the IMC intervened in the impasse in the interests of the country and of good governance.

Brown said, meanwhile, that as soon as the Eskom Board informs Molefe of the new developments, he will effectively not be the power utility’s CEO anymore. It is important that these matters are brought to a conclusion urgently, she said.

Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba, who is also a member of the IMC, said the decision to re-appoint Molefe as Eskom CEO should not have been taken in the first place.


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