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Optimism at Eskom as new acting CEO settles in

Brian Molefe has been appointed as acting CEO while current CEO Tshediso Matona remains suspended.

Eskom's new acting CEO, Brian Molefe. Picture: AFP

JOHANNESBURG - There appears to be a sense of optimism at Eskom as newly appointed acting CEO Brian Molefe finds his feet before coming up with plans to turn around the ailing utility.

Molefe, who was group chief executive at Transnet, has been appointed to lead Eskom while CEO Tshediso Matona remains suspended.

He says he wants to examine the utility's problems and turn the situation around, to ensure South Africa has a reliable electricity supply.

At the weekend, Molefe met the Eskom board.

He's also been in several meetings and will introduce himself to the staff before familiarising himself with the challenges at Eskom.

The utility's Khulu Phasiwe says they needed someone with Molefe's experience to steer the ship.

"He's beginning to get to grips with the issues that are facing Eskom and also, together with management, finding a way in terms of resolving those issues."

But energy analyst Ted Blom says he's not optimistic.

"As he admitted, he knows absolutely nothing about the energy sector and he's going to rely on the team, but that's exactly the team that's landed us in this mess in the first place."

Meanwhile, Siyabonga Gama has been appointing to lead Transnet during Molefe's secondment.