Mavuso’s future as Eskom board member comes into question

This follows Busisiwe Mavuso’s utterances at a Scopa meeting with Eskom last week where she blamed the ANC government for the power utility’s current challenges.

Busisiwe Mavuso. Picture: hub.blsa.org.za.

CAPE TOWN/JOHANNESBURG - Busisiwe Mavuso’s future as Eskom board member has come into question on Monday as the African National Congress (ANC) in Parliament prepares a recommendation on what should happen to her.

This follows Mavuso’s utterances at a Scopa meeting with Eskom last week where she blamed the ANC government for the power utility’s current challenges.

Department of Public Enterprises also slammed Mavuso, describing her comments as “regrettable” and saying it was still weighing its option.

The department described Mavuso’s conduct as unbecoming of a board member and is giving the matter serious consideration.

The ANC’s study group on Scopa said the “unwarranted, unprovoked utterances” by Mavuso defied logic and raised deep concerns about the quality of board members appointed to SOEs.

Its member Bheki Hadebe said Scopa was still taking stock of the meeting and would make a recommendation later.

"We will meet based on our feedback from the board and the department. We will also make our own recommendations. Right now, we have not met as a committee. We will have to reconvene, engage on the matter and see how we move forward."

Hadebe said at no point did the committee try to make Mavuso and the current management the “fall guy” and blame it for the historical problems plaguing the entity.

Mavuso said she does not sit on the board as an ANC deployee but as an independent professional.

'ANC CAN'T ACCOUNT ALONE'

The ANC’s head of Economic Development Mmamoloko Kubayi said it was not the governing party alone that should account for the long-standing challenges at Eskom.

Kubayi was reacting to that heated exchange between Mavuso and the Scopa chair Mkhuleko Nhlengwa last week.

Mavuso said the utility’s board and its CEO Andre de Ruyter would not be the fall guys for the mess at Eskom – which she believes was caused by the ANC.

Eskom has battled for years to keep the grid stable, implementing rolling blackouts across the country, much to the ire of businesses and ordinary citizens.

Kubayi said while the ANC acknowledged the problems at Eskom, the state capture inquiry revealed the role of the corporate sector in the rot.

"We have acknowledged that wrong things have happened, we have acknowledged that there have been difficulties and that’s why the ANC supported the state capture commission. Because of that support, it's an acknowledgment that things didn’t go as we thought and as we had committed to the nation.”

Kubayi said what they wanted from Eskom was a plan on how the utility would meet power demands to align with the country’s economic growth plans and solid time frames.

“We’ve known that previously there was a report that said capacity - in terms of technical capacity - people in Eskom there were depleted, they left. Where are they in terms of recruiting the capacity that we had? In terms of maintenance, we know that the plants are old. How are we maintaining them, and are we following the schedule?”