Eskom’s Mabuza thanks outgoing CEO for committed work

Charles Molele

Eskom chief executive Phakamani Hadebe will step down at the end of July 2019, the Eskom board announced on Friday.

Eskom board’s chairperson Jabu Mabuza said he was grateful to Hadebe for his commitment to ensuring leadership stability at the power utility.  

“On behalf of myself and the Board, I would like to extend my sincere gratitude to Mr Hadebe for his contribution to Eskom’s transition journey. The dedication and passion with which he has taken to fulfilling such a critical mandate is commendable,” said Mabuza.

The government appointed Hadebe as group chief executive of Eskom in May 2018, ending a string of interim appointments that stretched back to 2016.

Hadebe, in a statement on Friday, said he resigned from Eskom due to health reasons.

“It is no secret that this role comes with unimaginable demands which have unfortunately had a negative impact on my health. In the best interests of Eskom and my family, I have therefore decided to step down,” said Hadebe.

“It has been a privilege to serve South Africans as the Group Chief Executive (GCE) of Eskom. I am humbled and grateful to have contributed towards the stability for an organisation that is critical for our economy. I am particularly grateful to the Board, the EXCO, and all our employees for their resilience and support during this journey.”

Mabuza added: “We have learnt to depend on his resilience to drive the kind of transformation that South Africa expects of our organisation. Appreciating the toll that this takes on an individual, we have had to, with regret, accept his decision.”  

Eskom is by far the largest of South Africa’s many state-owned companies.

However, the power utility currently stands as one of the largest threat to the South African economy following the load-shedding crisis.

Hadebe and the board also came under criticism for lack of experience in engineering and the energy sector.  

 Only two of the 13 people on the board have experience in the energy sector, according to the former acting chief executive of the power utility, Matshela Koko.

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