The turmoil at Eskom continues unabated with the announcement that Chairman Jabu Mabuza has resigned.
Mabuza tendered his resignation on Friday, 10 January 2020.
In his resignation letter, Mabuza apologised for Eskom’s inability to meet the commitment it made to the President and the relevant Ministers at a meeting on 11 December 2019 to avoid load shedding over this period.
“At this meeting, Eskom presented plans to ensure that the risk of loadshedding would be eliminated during the holiday period until 13 January 2020. Eskom also outlined the risks affecting the national grid,” the Presidency said in a statement on Friday evening.
As the Minister assigned responsibility for Eskom, Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan has accepted Mabuza’s resignation.
President Ramaphosa has expressed his gratitude to Mabuza for serving Eskom and the nation during a challenging period and has commended Mabuza for taking responsibility and accepting accountability for events under his leadership.
“Government continues to support the measures being taken by Eskom to restore reliable electricity supply as a matter of priority, and is proceeding with measures to introduce new generation capacity – including self-generation – in the shortest possible time,” the Presidency said.
In the wake of Mabuza’s resignation, government will soon announce a re-configured Eskom board with the appropriate mix of electricity industry, engineering and corporate governance experience.
Eskom has not managed to keep unplanned breakdowns at below 9,500MW – the level at which it is forced to consider loadshedding – for a single day since December 4, 2019.
Unexpected bouts of loadshedding in January – a time of low electricity demand – was triggered by the failure of a conveyor belt feeding coal from Exxaro’s Grootegeluk mine to the Medupi power station