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Makgoba 'honoured' to take over as Eskom interim chair

Newly appointed Eskom interim board chair Malegapuru Makgoba told Eyewitness News he's excited to take the hot seat.

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

JOHANNESBURG - Newly appointed Eskom interim board chair Malegapuru Makgoba on Thursday said he felt honoured to be entrusted with the important job.

He takes over from Jabu Mabuza who resigned last week after the political controversy over the communication around load shedding.

In his resignation letter, Mabuza apologised for the inability to meet the commitment Eskom made to President Cyril Ramaphosa that there wouldn't be load shedding until 13 January.

Makgoba has told Eyewitness News he was informed about the announcement of his appointment by his daughter who lives in London.

The new board chair said he felt greatly honoured to take the hot seat.

“It’s a great honour to be entrusted with such responsibility by the nation.”

LISTEN: Prof Makgoba comments on new Eskom job

He didn't want to elaborate on his expectations or plans for the cash-strapped state-owned entity.

However, when asked whether he is nervous - he said no - just excited.

EXPERIENCED BOARD

The Public Enterprises Department said Eskom would soon have a skilled and experienced board as government worked to fix the troubled power utility.

The department said it appointed Makgoba in line with government's commitment to good governance and stability at Eskom.

He joined Eskom’s board as a non-executive director in 2018.

His appointment comes just days after Ramaphosa announced that government plans to introduce a reconfigured Eskom board with the appropriate mix of skills and knowledge.

Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan's spokesperson Sam Mkokeli said: “The government is busy with the process of appointing the reconfigured Eskom board.”

There are growing calls from unions and some opposition parties to fire Eskom's current board.

Minister Gordhan has also come under fire due to the crisis at Eskom but the African National Congress stalwarts and veterans have rallied behind him - describing calls to sack him as disingenuous.

Meanwhile, Eskom said it was not planning to implement load shedding on Thursday.

The utility said it had been using its emergency reserves cautiously to make sure they last the rest of the week.