Brown likely to chop and change Eskom board

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - FRONT PAGE - SIYABONGA MKHWANAZI

PUB­LIC En­ter­prises Min­is­ter Lynne Brown is ex­pected to wield the axe at Eskom’s an­nual gen­eral meet­ing on Fri­day.

In­di­ca­tions are the min­is­ter will use the op­por­tu­nity to ro­tate mem­bers of the board fol­low­ing a num­ber of scan­dals that have rocked the util­ity over the past few months.

She is ex­pected to re­tain one or two mem­bers for pur­poses of con­ti­nu­ity. Act­ing chair­per­son Zethembe Khoza, who took over the reins af­ter Ben Ngubane quit in a huff last week, is ex­pected to stay.

The board was ap­pointed by Cabi­net in 2014 and its term of of­fice comes to an end later this year.

Brown’s spokesman Colin Cruy- wa­gen yes­ter­day con­firmed the AGM will go ahead on Fri­day.

“The AGM will give her the op­por­tu­nity to ro­tate the board.”

Cruy­wa­gen did not want to be drawn into pro­vid­ing ad­di­tional de­tails on the go­ings-on in the board, which has been fac­ing a bar­rage of calls for its ax­ing since it brought Brian Molefe back into the util­ity.

The par­ties are now in court with Molefe fight­ing to get his job back and op­po­si­tion par­ties de­mand­ing that he should not be re-hired.

Molefe turned to the courts af­ter the Cabi­net had in­structed Brown to fire him. The fall­out be­gan af­ter news broke that Molefe stood to re­ceive R30 mil­lion for the 18 months he worked at Eskom.

When Brown re­jected this pay­out, the Eskom board de­cided to reap­point Molefe.

Par­lia­ment’s port­fo­lio com­mit­tee on pub­lic en­ter­prises is ex­pected to begin the in­quiry into Eskom next Wed­nes­day. They had agreed to es­tab­lish an in­quiry into Eskom, in­clud­ing its coal con­tracts and re-ap­point­ment of Molefe as chief ex­ec­u­tive.

This is a sep­a­rate process from the one ini­ti­ated by Brown to rope in the spe­cial in­ves­ti­gat­ing unit (SIU) to probe ten­ders at Eskom dat­ing back to 2007.

Eskom has had seven in­ves­ti­ga­tions since 2007, but none of the re­ports em­a­nat­ing from these probes has been re­leased.

Brown has said she wants the SIU to look at all the re­ports at Eskom in­clud­ing the Den­ton re­port that has been with­held for some time.

She said the SIU in­ves­ti­ga­tion would be able to get to the bot­tom of all the prob­lems at Eskom.

Lynne Brown

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