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DA: Makgoba’s appointment as Eskom interim board chair questionable

The party's Public Enterprises spokesperson, Ghaleb Cachalia, has described the appointment as regrettable and not what the struggling power utility needed to turn it around.

Prof Malegapuru William Makgoba. Picture: healthombud.org.za

CAPE TOWN/JOHANNESBURG - While Professor Malegapuru Makgoba contemplates his plans at Eskom after he was announced as the interim board chairperson, the Democratic Alliance (DA) said the appointment was questionable.

The party's Public Enterprises spokesperson, Ghaleb Cachalia, has described the appointment as regrettable and not what the struggling power utility needed to turn it around.

Makgoba, was who was appointed after the resignation of Jabu Mabuza from the board, told Eyewitness News that he was looking forward to taking on the huge responsibility.

Mabuza stepped down last week after the board promised President Cyril Ramaphosa that there would be no load shedding until 13 January.

Cachalia said his party believed that there were several professionals inside and outside the country who were better suited to head Eskom.

“Those people - I am not going to publicly punt, particularly because people will say I’m particularly punting those individuals - but when we sit, as I have suggested to the minister and to Eskom, around the table of responsible stakeholders to fix this debacle, we will come up with those names, we will put them forward and we will interrogate them jointly as best as we can do.”

NOT A SUITABLE CANDIDATE

The appointment of Makgoba has been met with criticism from some energy experts, saying the process was flawed and he was a misfit for the job.

He is a scientist and academic who joined the utility's board as a non-executive director in 2018.

Government is hoping that with Makgoba as interim board chair, he will help stabilise the company, which has been battling to keep the lights on.

However, energy expert Adil Nchabeleng said this was another blunder government had made as it seems the right process to appoint him has not been followed.

“Professor Makgoba is not a suitable engineer in the electricity and energy generation side. He is a medical specialist.”

Last week, Ramaphosa announced the government plans to introduce a reconfigured Eskom board with a mixture of electricity, engineering and corporate governance experience.

Another energy expert Ted Blom agreed Makgoba was not the man to rescue Eskom: “But, he is only interim chairman for the time that government wakes up and gets a properly qualified and experienced world-class turnaround person.”

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