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Eskom's Governance Among The Poorest I've Ever Seen -- Energy Expert Chris Yelland

Ever heard of rotating CEOs? Neither have the experts.

06/10/2017 17:18 SAST | Updated 06/10/2017 17:50 SAST
Mike Hutchings / Reuters

Energy expert Chris Yelland has criticised Eskom heavily for rotating its chief executive role, which has led to the removal of acting CEO Johnny Dladla and the appointment of chief information officer Sean Maritz.

Dladla was the head of the embattled state-owned enterprise for just four months.

"Have you ever heard anywhere about rotating acting CEOs?... I have never even heard of such a term," Yelland said.

"This is an example of the poorest governance I have seen in my life," he continued.

He said this decision made the entity less credible and that it should rather focus on appointing someone permanently.

"You can't have an organisation going for extended periods with an acting CEO, without any steps to fill the position with a permanent CEO. You are seriously damaging the organisation and its ability to get on with its real business.

"Eskom should be trying to act with good governance, trying to stabilise the organisation."

Eskom chair Zethembe Khoza said on Friday that the state energy supplier was making these moves in an attempt to create more stability within the company.

"In an effort to embed organisational stability‚ it is imperative that the role of Eskom group chief executive be permanently filled," Khoza said.

"The Eskom board has decided to rotate current executives in this role to ensure exposure," he added.

The company has not managed to find credible leadership since last year. Brian Molefe resigned in November after he was fingered in former public protector Thuli Madonsela's State of Capture report. The report revealed that Molefe called Atul Gupta 44 times and was tracked to the Gupta residence in Saxonwold 19 times.

The board of the utility then appointed Matshela Koko as acting CEO, who remained in the position until June this year. Koko was suspended earlier this year after allegations of a possible conflict of interest involving his stepdaughter‚ who was a director of a company that allegedly scored R1-billion in business contracts from the parastatal.

He, like Molefe, was implicated in Madonsela's report. In his previous position as Eskom group executive, he was alleged to have signed a document approving a prepayment of almost R600-million to Gupta-owned Tegeta. The amount is said to have enabled the company to purchase Optimum Coal.

Who is Sean Maritz?

Sean Maritz served as chief information officer at Eskom and has been its group executive of information technology since 2016. Maritz holds a BComm from Rand Afrikaans University (now the University of Johannesburg) and is a certified Open Group architect.

When doing a Google search of his name, you will generally find that he uses his expertise in technology to write for different online platforms.