LEAVE THE LIGHTS ON WHEN YOU LEAVE
OUTGOING CEO of Eskom, Thulani Gcabashe, has some unfinished business to attend to before he departs, no doubt with a large bonus so as to make his last year his highest earner, which will mean that it may be above the R13m he earned for the 15 months ended March 2005.
There was an unconscious irony when on 6 February 2006, Gcabashe, addressing guests at the launch of the Atlantis Open Cycle Gas Turbine project, remarked: "We are indeed honoured that you could join us to witness the turning of the sod in what would be the first power station to be planned and built by the democratic South Africa."
One might suspect that, having failed miserably to develop the electricity provider adequately, it would be a mark of embarrassment rather than of selfcongratulation for this State enterprise to allow 12 years of democracy to pass before attending to the nation's pressing long-term needs.
Our present dilemma might flow in part from Gcabashe’s concern for African, as opposed to South African, devel- opment. In 2001 this was clear when he remarked: "Eskom's Nepad (in case you have forgotten, this means New Partnership for African Development) office will stay focused on supporting Nepad efforts aimed at building Africa's power infrastructure."
Referring to himself in the third person, always an ominous sign, Gcabashe remarked in his annual report: "At the launch of the United Nations Compact in July, 2000, Eskom's Chief Executive, at the invitation (nogal) of the SecretaryGeneral, Kofi Anan, became a participant in the Global Compact...to promote sustainable growth and good citizenship through ...creative corporate leadership."
Ja, well, no, fine. But, hey, Thulani, aside from the power mess, how about the R129m swiped from Eskom in some scam involving the publication of your annual reports? And there's also the matter of a contract to build a power station going to a group in which the ANC's investment arm, Chancellor House, has a secret interest.
You need to leave your successor a clean sheet, you know.