EngineeringNews reported that Jabu Mabuza, chairperson of Eskom Holdings, resigned from his post after Eskom, the South African power utility, resumed load-shedding earlier than expected in 2020.
Mabuza tendered his resignation on Friday and apologised for Eskom’s inability to honour a commitment it had made to President Cyril Ramaphosa, namely that power cuts would be avoided until 13 January, the Presidency said in a statement.
After implementing the most severe load-shedding to date in December, Eskom promised at a meeting held on 11 December that further power cuts will be avoided during South Africa’s holiday season.
According to the Presidency, South Africa will soon announce a newly configured Eskom Board with the appropriate mixture of experience of the electricity industry, engineering and corporate governance.
The debt-laden power utility, described by the Goldman Sachs Group as the biggest threat to the South African economy, put the country at risk of a second recession in two years after it had implemented load-shedding in December. The growth in the gross domestic product (GDP) probably slowed to 0,4% in 2019, and it will expand with less than 1% this year, the World Bank said.
According to Darius Jonker, a London-based director at the Eurasia Group, Mabuza’s tenure was increasingly threatened by an inability to effectively plan and manage the path ahead that is supposed to take Eskom out of its current load-shedding predicament.
Last Friday the country’s biggest labour group called for the entire Eskom Board to be dismissed, including Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan whose department oversees Eskom.
The rand suffered losses after the announcement of Mabuza’s resignation and weakened by 1,1% to R14,3661 against the dollar on Friday, 10 January.
According to EngineeringNews, Andre de Ruyter started as the new CEO of Eskom on 6 January, ahead of the implementation of a planned restructuring to turn around the loss-making business in an attempt to get rid of the debt of billions.