Eskom CEO Phakamani Hadebe resigns

Phakamani Hadebe was permanently appointed to the position just a year ago after being recommended by the company’s board.

FILE: Phakamani Hadebe.  Picture: Christa Eybers/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Eskom chief executive officer Phakamani Hadebe has announced he was resigning from his position.

A statement released on Friday evening said Hadebe would step down at the end of June 2019.

“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. It has been a privilege to serve South Africans as the group chief executive (GCE) of Eskom,” said Hadebe in the statement.

Hadebe was permanently appointed to the position just a year ago after being recommended by the company’s board.

Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan had previously described Hadebe as the right man to steer Eskom and stabilise the institution.

In the statement, Eskom board chair Jabu Mabuza said Hadebe had been instrumental in driving stability at Eskom during a very challenging period at the organisation.

“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.”

Mabuza also said the entity and its board were grateful to Hadebe for his commitment to ensuring leadership stability.

“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,” he said.

Hadebe managed to turn around the Land Bank in a year after he took over as CEO there.

But, during his 12-month tenure at the power utility, Hadebe encountered many challenges, with Eskom being in the spotlight at the state capture commission of inquiry, and load shedding becoming part of South Africans’ daily routine once again in March. Load shedding reached stage 4 of rolling outages for the first time.

Hadebe took over from a number of controversial CEOs, including Brian Molefe, Matshela Koko and Sean Maritz.

Now that he'll no longer be at the helm, Eskom's leadership stability once again comes into question.