South Africa Con­firms Hadebe as CEO of Strug­gling Eskom

Africa Outlook - - News -

The South African Govern­ment has ap­pointed Phaka­mani Hadebe as Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Of­fi­cer of strug­gling state power firm, Eskom, end­ing a string of in­terim ap­point­ments that stretches back to 2016.

Hadebe has been lead­ing ef­forts to sta­bilise Eskom, a com­pany at the heart of cor­rup­tion scan­dals sur­round­ing ousted Pres­i­dent, Ja­cob Zuma as in­terim CEO since Jan­uary af­ter an in­ter­ven­tion by then-Deputy Pres­i­dent, Cyril Ramaphosa.

Ramaphosa, who re­placed Zuma as South Africa’s pres­i­dent in Fe­bru­ary, has made re­form­ing sta­te­owned firms a pri­or­ity as he seeks to bol­ster eco­nomic growth and stave off sovereign credit rat­ings down­grades.

“Cab­i­net has ap­proved the ap­point­ment of Mr Phaka­mani Hadebe as the new group Chief Ex­ec­u­tive of Eskom. This is a re­flec­tion of the ex­cel­lent work he has done over the past few months at the in­sti­tu­tion,” Pub­lic En­ter­prises Min­is­ter, Pravin Gord­han com­mented.

Eskom has not had a per­ma­nent CEO since Brian Molefe re­signed in Novem­ber, 2016 af­ter a re­port linked him to the Gupta fam­ily, whose re­la­tion­ship with Zuma is the sub­ject of a South African ju­di­cial in­quiry into state cor­rup­tion.

The Gup­tas and Zuma deny wrong­do­ing.

Un­der Hadebe’s watch as in­terim CEO, Eskom averted a liq­uid­ity cri­sis by se­cur­ing bil­lions of rand in emer­gency fund­ing from banks.

Hadebe is the for­mer head of in­vest­ment bank­ing at Bar­clays Africa and be­fore that was CEO of Land Bank.

De­spite a short­age of coal at some power sta­tions, Hadebe said this month that there would be no power black­outs this year.

Hadebe has said he aims to de­liver a turn­around strat­egy for Eskom by Septem­ber which could in­clude the dis­posal of some as­sets.

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