Newly appointed Eskom chairperson Jabu Mabuza has to decline his trip to the World Economic Forum at Davos, Switzerland, to begin tackling the crisis at the power utility, Business Day reported.
Mabuza was appointed two days ago following the dissolution of the Eskom board by Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa.
According to Business Day, Mabuza was due to fly to Davos with the South African delegation, led by Ramaphosa. Instead, he reportedly met the new Eskom executive team on Monday after landing in the country from Europe. He is hoping to hold the new board’s first meeting before the end of the week.
Mabuza’s to-do list at Eskom reportedly includes the finalisation of Eskom’s interim financial statements, which must be done by the end of January or the JSE will suspend trading Eskom bonds.
Eskom also has to raise R20-billion over the next two months in order to remain a going concern. Mabuza and the new board must also deal with a string of corruption allegations and governance failures.
In a statement on Monday, Mabuza said the key to turning Eskom around was ensuring the transparent governance started at the top.
“I believe that part of any credible solution to stabilize Eskom centres [on] transparent and effective governance starting with the board, supported by a competent and strong management team to formulate and execute on a strategy that supports the board’s mandate. With the right governance structures at a board and executive management level, of priority would be entrenching financial and business discipline as a foundation to restoring the credibility and integrity of the utility with financial markets. These I believe are some of the key principles that are critical to stabilise, reform and ultimately set Eskom up for success,” he said.
Mabuza has a solid reputation in the corporate sector, and his appointment was also welcomed by unions, the Mail & Guardian reported. He was described as a man of “unimpeachable integrity”.