Eskom CEO Brian Molefe quits, all the reaction

In a dramatic move on Friday, Eskom CEO Brian Molefe announced that he will voluntarily step down from Eskom. His resignation is effective from January 1 2017.


Molefe brought whole Eskom into disrepute - Iraj Abedian

Cape Town - Brian Molefe's resignation was inevitable, economist Iraj Abedian told Fin24, adding: "All in all it is good for Eskom."

He said Molefe brought the whole organisation into disrepute.

"He could no longer have the respect and trust of his staff. Bone fide clients of Eskom could not trust the entity either."

READ: Eskom board should be dissolved - economist

Abedian called for the dissolution of the Eskom board, which was one of five state-owned enterprises implicated in allegations of impropriety in former public protector Thuli Madonsela's report entitled State of Capture.



This is a victory - Greenpeace Africa

Greenpeace Africa said Brian Molefe's resignation is a victory for accountability and transparency.

"[It] is a clear message that our democracy is alive and well and that South Africans have had enough of dodgy deals behind closed doors," said campaign manager Melita Steele.

She said since Molefe was personally spearheading Eskom’s "anti-renewable energy campaign", him leaving is good news for all South Africans.

"It is now time to question Molefe’s single minded determination for nuclear to go ahead in this country, and to make sure that Eskom’s new CEO is someone who is able to lead the utility into a clean, renewable energy  future that puts the interests of South Africans first," said Steele.


Corruption Watch appeals to Eskom board

Corruption Watch said any alleged irregular or criminal conduct on the part of Brian Molefe would not have been possible without the consent of the board of Eskom, specifically chairperson Baldwin Ngubane.

"Its prominence as a major state owned enterprise requires that the public has confidence in its operations, functioning and leadership," it said in a statement on Friday.

"The organisation urges the members of the board to consider whether their continued leadership of the parastatal is in fact in the best interests of Eskom."

Corruption Watch said the allegations against Molefe, both in the media and the State of Capture report, must continue to be the subject of inquiry by the pending judicial commission of inquiry into state capture. It added that it should also be investigated by the relevant law enforcement authorities.


JUST IN from Lynne Brown's office:

“I want to reassure the country that as Shareholder Representative, I will work closely with the Board to ensure that the company remains stable. I am confident that Mr Molefe leaves a strong xecutive team in place to continue to deliver on Eskom’s mandate and implementation of the turn-around strategy."


Cape Town – The successor of Eskom CEO Brian Molefe will need to convince financial markets that he or she is not "captured" by any entity, said Jeff Schultz, analyst at BNP Paribas Securities South Africa. 

Speaking to Fin24 by phone following the shock resignation of the power utility boss, Schultz said the question on investors’ lips would probably be who is going to replace Molefe. 

Molefe on Friday afternoon issued a media statement, announcing his intention to step down as Eskom CEO with effect from 1 January 2017. The news came on the back of former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela’s state capture report in which Molefe was implicated.



Meanwhile, the rand is heading for its biggest weekly drop since August. Now trading at R14.38/$.



Molefe's resignation won't save him from 'state capture' probe - political parties

Eskom CEO Brian Molefe's resignation did not mean an escape from the consequences that might arise from the Public Protector's State of Capture report, political parties said on Friday.

Molefe resigned following former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela's report, in which the Eskom CEO was mentioned numerous times.



Tweet from Eskom spokesperson Khulu Phasiwe: Molefe steps down, but denies it’s an admission of wrongdoing.


Eskom said it will soon announce interim leadership arrangements once agreed with its shareholder representative, Minister of Public Enterprises Lynne Brown.


Eskom regrets Molefe's exit, says it's a great loss

Eskom chair Baldwin Ngubane said the decision taken by Molefe was regrettable but understandable.

"Since joining Eskom in April 2015, Mr Molefe and his executive management team have turned around the company’s operational and financial performance, with 15 months of no load shedding, the impact of which has been enjoyed by every South African citizen," said Ngubane.
"The improved performance of the power generating units coupled with additional capacity from some of our new build projects has resulted in a stable power system, with excess capacity being exported to neighbouring states."

Ngubane said Eskom's liquidity position has also improved significantly, with liquid assets increasing by 81.6% from R24.1bn a year ago, to R43.8bn at September 30 2016.

The Eskom Board thanked Molefe for what it calls his relentless dedication to turning Eskom around, solidifying a capable executive team and putting it on a sound growth trajectory.



Brian Molefe was first appointed in an acting CEO capacity at Eskom in March 2015 and his contract was made permanent in September in the same year. 

Known in government and business circles as “Mr Fix It” for the way he managed the Public Investment Corporation (PIC) and Transnet, which he had headed up in the past, Molefe arguably managed to rid South Africa from load shedding. 

In July this year, Molefe said at an interim financial results briefing there had been no load shedding in South Africa since July 2015.


Lynne Brown 'sad' to see Molefe go

Public Enterprises Lynne Brown is sad to lose someone of Eskom CEO Brian Molefe’s calibre, her spokesperson Colin Cruywagen said. 

Speaking to Fin24 by phone on Friday, Cruywagen said: “He (Molefe) was pivotal in turning Eskom around.” The ministry will be issuing a statement later in the afternoon, he added.



“I have, in the interests of good corporate governance, decided to leave my employ at Eskom from January 1,” Brian Molefe said in a statement on Friday. “I do so voluntarily.”



Before controversy struck him at Eskom, Brian Molefe had established himself as a well-known leader in South Africa's public sector.

VIEW: Infographic of Molefe's career timeline


Molefe has done the right thing by resigning - Yelland

Cape Town – Eskom CEO Brian Molefe has done the right thing by resigning as it would be inappropriate for him to lead the power utility when the judicial inquiry is launched into the former public protector’s State of Capture report, according to EE Publishers MD Chris Yelland.

“Former public protector Thuli Madonsela’s report has revealed deeply suspicious circumstances and has ordered these be investigated further through a judicial inquiry,” he said

“In the circumstances, I believe Mr Molefe has done the right thing by resigning.”



Cape Town - First head to roll. Put simply he had no credibility left after the Public Protector report regardless of them being proven or not allegations.

This is the first reaction from analysts following the shock resignation of Eskom CEO Brian Molefe on Friday.

Emerging market economist Peter Attard Montalto said Molefe is the fallen angel for investors coming out of Transnet as a hero and now implicated in alleged grand corruption and rent extraction by the Public Protector report.

"In a way its sad, in a way its not. He ultimately was successful because he could navigate the patronage realities of the ANC but it has caught up with him.

"We need to understand however the the rot in Eskom goes much deeper - the whole board needs to be replaced and there are many others there also implicated in the PP report."

READ: Brian Molefe a 'fallen angel' - economist


Breaking: Eskom CEO Brian Molefe quits

Cape Town - In a dramatic move on Friday, Eskom CEO Brian Molefe announced that he will voluntarily step down from Eskom. His resignation is effective from January 1 2017.

Eskom spokesperson Khulu Phasiwe confirmed that Molefe had quit in a series of tweets posted on Friday afternoon.

“Eskom CEO Brian Molefe today announced that he'll voluntarily step down from Eskom with effect from 1 January 2017,” said Phasiwe.

“Mr Molefe says he'll  take take time off to reflect before deciding on his next career move,’

Phasiwe said that Molefe’s “stepping down was not an act of admission of wrongdoing on his part”.

Molefe has come under the spotlight in the last week for appearing in former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela’s State of Capture report.

The report paints his close relationship with the controversial Gupta family and also questions the sale of Glencore’s Optimum mine to Tegeta.

Colin Cruywagen, spokesperson for Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown said the Minister is sad to lose a person of Brian Molefe’s calibre. “He played a pivotal role in turning Eskom around,” Cruywagen said. 

An excerpt from Brian Molefe's statement:


As part of the state capture report, cellphone evidence revealed that Molefe and Ajay Gupta, the eldest of three Gupta brothers, made 58 telephone calls to one another between August 2015 and March 2016.

The report further details phone calls between Molefe and Ronica Ragavan, a long-time Gupta associate who was recently appointed acting CEO of Oakbay Investments, the family's main holding company.

Moreover, cellphone tracking records obtained by the protector's investigators indicate that Molefe was at or near the Guptas' Saxonwold, Johannesburg compound 19 times between August 5 and November 17 2015.

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