Eskom sheds Tsotsi

Zola Tsotsi has agreed to step down as a director & chairman following a board meeting at Eskom yesterday.

FILE: Eskom Chairman Zola Tsotsi sitting talking to media and staff after the utility called an emergency press briefing at its Megawatt Park on 12 March 2015. Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - After much speculation, the power utility has confirmed its chairman Zola Tsotsi has stepped down.

In a brief statement released this morning, the parastatal says a constructive discussion was held between Eskom's board and Tsotsi, who has agreed to step down as both a director and chairperson.

On behalf of the board, Doctor Ben Ngubane has thanked Tsotsi for what he's called 'the selfless decision' and has wished him well in his future endeavours.

Eskom says Tsotsi has decided to resign so that the parastatal can focus on managing the power crisis and providing reliable energy.

His resignation follows repeated calls for him to be axed by unions and an attempted vote of no confidence last week.

Tsotsi was the only remaining member of the Eskom board that was asked to step aside in its entirety by Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown and questions were raised about why he retained his position despite under-performance by the utility.

Eskom's Khulu Phasiwe says now that Tsotsi has resigned, the utility must refocus itself on its core businesses.

"We're hopeful that this will bring some stability to the operation of the company, especially at a board level."

Majority union at Eskom, the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM)'s General Secretary, Frans Baleni says the utility needs stability.

"The sooner we get stability and as far as the executives are concerned, it will be better so that the oversight can focus on overseeing."

But The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa)'s Treasurer Mphumzi Maqungo says the problems at Eskom are bigger than the board.

"What is happening behind the scenes?"

Ngubane has been appointed to replace Tsotsi as acting chairperson.