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Eskom's New Interim Board: What You Should Know About The New Members

It seems that they have the skills to turn the parastatal around.

23/06/2017 15:57 SAST | Updated 23/06/2017 15:57 SAST
Dean Hutton/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown's new interim appointments to the embattled Eskom board may suggest the direction the parastatal will be steered in, with particular emphasis on nuclear and financial expansion.

Brown's four new appointments indicate the hauling in of expertise from various fields including risk management, chemistry in the energy industry, financial and project management as well as nuclear fuel management.

She announced the new appointments at a media briefing following the State-Owned Enterprises' annual general and special general meeting on Friday morning.

This is what you need to know about the new appointees:

Pulane Elsie Molokwane – Molokwane has a PhD in chemical technology and serves on the boards of the Inkomati Usuthu Catchment Management Area, the Sedibent Water Board and the Crescentwood Homeowners Association. She is also the founder and managing director at POB Environment Solutions.

Simphiwe Dingaan – Dingaan has a Bcom degree from the University of KwaZulu-Natal and has previously worked for Rand Merchant Bank. He founded investment holding company, Veraison, and led a team that built the Busamed Gateway Private Hospital.

Banothile Makhubela – Makhubela has a PhD in chemistry and served as a non-executive director on the board of PetroSA.

Sathiaseelan Gounden – Gounden is an accredited mediator with various qualifications from the University of South Africa, the University of Durban-Westville, the University of Pretoria and the Harvard Business School.

"These members, together with the two executive directors, the group chief executive officer and group chief financial officer, will constitute an interim board until their names are taken to Cabinet for approval in the next cycle," Brown said.

"I have asked Eskom's new leadership to roll up its collective sleeves and immediately address three areas of primary importance: The management of contracts, conflicts of interest, and the quality of coal supplied to Eskom."

Board member Zethembe Khoza was also made interim chairperson last week and Eskom veteran Johnny Dladla was appointed acting CEO on Thursday.

Brown's priorities are written on the wall with her new appointments.

Molokwane's appointment signals the nuclear option is still very much on the table with her expertise in environmental management and nuclear fuel management. With Eskom's finances currently under scrutiny, Dingaan's skills in corporate financial management and auditing will probably seek to rectify that. Gounden also has expertise in corporate governance.

Despite all the changes however, Anoj Singh still remains on the board.

Singh has been in the media for his alleged links to the Guptas and the Democratic Alliance have said they will lay charges against him.

A leak of emails from within the Gupta network revealed that Singh was allegedly taken on at least four suspiciously timed Gupta-funded trips to Dubai. This reportedly happened during the period Transnet awarded a R1.8-billionn tender to Neotel, resulting in a R36-million kickback to a Gupta company.

Singh was Transnet's CFO at the time.

He was also allegedly taken on a nine-day trip to Dubai in December 2015, shortly after the Guptas' Tegeta obtained Optimum Coal Holdings, which supplies Eskom with coal, from Glencore.

The deal was worth more than R2 billion.

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