Cause of executives’ exodus from Eskom must be found: Mantashe

10 October 2023 - 13:06
By Khulekani Magubane
Mineral resources and energy minister Gwede Mantashe, second left.
Image: Alaister Russell Mineral resources and energy minister Gwede Mantashe, second left.

The government needs to get to the bottom of the leadership exodus from Eskom, says minister of mineral resources and energy Gwede Mantashe.

This follows a department of public enterprises announcement on Monday that Eskom chair Mpho Makwana will step down at the end of October. He will be replaced by Mteto Nyati, who will act in the position. .

“As a miner, that is my background. If you are underground and you see mice running, you do not go to see what they are running from. You should run with them because they are likely running from methane. If there is an exodus of executives, we need to understand what the methane is that they are running from,” Mantashe told reporters on the sidelines of the Africa Oil Week in Cape Town.

Asked to elaborate, Mantashe said he had “no information” on what could be driving executives to resign from Eskom or preventing the power utility from filling critical leadership vacancies. Eskom has struggled to find a permanent CEO since the resignation of André de Ruyter earlier this year.

Mantashe urged Eskom to be prepared for the uptake of energy technologies allowed for in the Integrated Resource Plan (IRP), which he said would be tabled before cabinet by the end of October.

“The most important thing is that Eskom must give us assurance that they have uptake agreements. They have the uptake. They must ensure we have transmission capacity. If we don’t get that from Eskom, we are in trouble, all of us,” said Mantashe.

In the midst of his resignation, De Ruyter caused a stir with the release of his book, Truth To Power, and an eNCA interview in which he detailed his insight into a network of corruption at Eskom, as well as attempts on his life while he was CEO.