DA questions appointment of new Eskom chair

BY CHARL BOSCH - MARCH 31, 2015

Democratic Alliance (DA) Shadow Minister of Public Enterprises, Natasha Michael, has said that the resignation of Eskom Chairperson, Zola Tsotsi and the appointment of Ben Ngubane as Acting Chairman, is a clear indication that “political interference” exists at the state-owned parastatal.

Tsotsi handed-in his resignation earlier this morning after authorising the suspension of three senior board members as well as CEO, Tshediso Matona.

Speaking in a statement, Michael said that although the party welcomes Tsotsi’s departure, the nomination of former SABC Chairperson Ngubane, shows that “President [Jacob] Zuma and his administration are willing to see Eskom lurch from disaster to disaster”.

“This is a sign that political interests dominate decisions around Eskom at a time when the efficiency and management of the utility needs to be a first priority. The problems at Eskom require real concerted action and not distracting side-shows,” said Michael.

“Minister [Lynn] Brown must resist political pressure and ensure that key decisions around Eskom’s leadership are made for the right reasons”.

Michael stated that the minister should give account to Parliament on whether she was influenced by Zuma to appoint Ngubane, the value of Tsotsi’s severance package and pension, Eskom current status, and whether the so-called War Room, under Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, was informed about Tsotsi’s resignation.

She also added that the infighting at Eskom was having a worsening impact on strained South Africans and that “strong, objective leadership” is needed to curb the ever increasing energy crisis.