Eskom chair Jabu Mabuza resigns

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Eskom chair Jabu Mabuza unexpectedly resigned on Friday, president Cyril Ramaphosa announced. In the wake of his resignation, Eskom will also get a new board, the presidency said.

"In his resignation letter, Mabuza apologised for Eskom's inability to meet the commitment it made to the president, the deputy president and the relevant ministers at a meeting on December 11th 2019 to avoid load shedding over this period," the presidency said in a statement

Rampahosa commended Mabuza for taking responsibility and accepting accountability for events under his leadership.

On Wednesday, deputy president David Mabuza said Ramaphosa was misled when he was told there would be no load shedding before the January 13.

Instead, South Africa has been hit by daily load shedding for the past week.

Eskom has not managed to keep unplanned breakdowns at below 9,500MW - the level at which it is forced to consider loadshedding - for a single day since December 4, 2019.

Unexpected bouts of loadshedding in January - a time of low electricity demand - was triggered by the failure of a conveyor belt feeding coal from Exxaro’s Grootegeluk mine to the Medupi power station in Lephalale, Limpopo.

"Government continues to support the measures being taken by Eskom to restore reliable electricity supply as a matter of priority, and is proceeding with measures to introduce new generation capacity – including self-generation – in the shortest possible time," the presidency said on Friday.

It also announced that government will soon establish a "re-configured Eskom board with the appropriate mix of electricity industry, engineering and corporate governance experience".

Mabuza, who previously chaired Telkom, was appointed as Eskom chair almost exactly two years ago. In July, he became the embattled utility's acting CEO after the resignation of former CEO Phakamani Hadebe.

New CEO André de Ruyter took over on Monday.

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