HILARY JOFFE: Tipped as new Eskom CEO, Calitz would face SA's worst job

10 November 2019 - 05:04 By

The appointment of a new Eskom CEO will be crucial in terms of what chance there is of turning Eskom around and putting it on the path to supplying power more reliably and affordably in coming years. It will also be a major message to the market of how serious the government is about fixing ailing state-owned enterprises, and indeed about its promises more generally to create an environment which is more conducive to investment. This is, then, one of the more important appointments that President Cyril Ramaphosa and public enterprises minister Pravin Gordhan are ever going to make. Markets will be closely watching whether they are bold enough, and have enough political support, to appoint an independent-minded CEO of global stature and experience who has a real chance of turning Eskom around.

Now, with the appointment apparently imminent at last, global energy executive Andy Calitz, 61, is the person who is widely speculated to be the next Eskom CEO. It is understood his was the only name submitted to the cabinet. Calitz was on a shortlist of three people that the Eskom board is believed to have recommended to Gordhan. The shortlist also included former Eskom CEO Jacob Maroga, who unsuccessfully sued Eskom for R85m after he resigned following a brief stint in 2007/2008, and former Eskom head of capital projects Dan Marokane. Calitz was far and away the most impressive candidate and certainly the one most likely to impress the market...

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