Eskom CEO musical chairs viewed as odd

Johannesburg - Eskom’s decision to “rotate” its acting CEO Johnny Dladla back into his old job after little more than three months on the job is confusing, but “palatable”, says the Energy Intensive Users Group of Southern Africa. 

The CEO of the lobby group, Xolani Mbanga, said the timing was strange as a permanent leadership structure was expected to be put in place next month.

“They say they are rotating, and that is fine. We are looking forward to the appointment of a permanent board in November,” Mbanga said.

However, the energy coordinator at the National Union of Mineworkers, Paris Mashego, said the move created more confusion and undermined attempts to stabilise the parastatal.

Officially, Eskom is trying to “ensure exposure” for its various remaining senior staff after suspending finance chief Anoj Singh and starting disciplinary proceedings against former acting CEO Matshela Koko.

The new acting boss is Eskom chief information officer Sean Maritz. 

Maritz is an even more obscure company man than Dladla was when he replaced Koko as acting CEO in June.

After 28 years at Eskom, Maritz joined the executive committee in June last year.

Koko had stepped in to replace Brian Molefe, who resigned amid allegations of aiding the Gupta family with their dealings with Eskom.

Eskom watcher and publisher Chris Yelland said he had not heard of the concept of rotating CEOs before.

“I honestly don’t know what is going on any more,” he told City Press.

Last year, Yelland correctly predicted that Koko would be a candidate to take over from Molefe, and also correctly predicted this would end badly due to allegations of corruption against him.

Yelland said that the plan to have a new board next month was unlikely to materialise given that Eskom this week said the recruitment process “will begin in due course”, meaning nothing has yet been done.

Dladla will return to his previous job as CEO of Eskom Rotek Industries, an engineering subsidiary.

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