Business Maverick


Eskom board chairman Mpho Makwana resigns

Eskom board chairman Mpho Makwana resigns
Eskom Chairman Mpho Makwana. (Photo: Leon Sadiki) | Pravin Gordhan, South Africa's Minister of Public Enterprises.(Photo: Dwayne Senior / Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Mteto Nyati, a former MTN South Africa and Altron CEO who is currently an Eskom board member, will be appointed as the board chair to replace Mpho Makwana.

Eskom chairman Mpho Makwana has resigned, Minister of Public Enterprises Pravin Gordhan announced on Monday.  

Mteto Nyati, a former MTN South Africa and Altron CEO who is currently an Eskom board member, will be appointed as the board chair to replace Makwana. 

An earlier version of a brief statement by the Public Enterprises Department said Nyati would be the interim board chair, which has since been corrected. 

Gordhan said that Makwana would step down at the Eskom annual general meeting, which is scheduled for the end of October. 

He did not disclose the reason behind Makwana’s exit, which comes one year after he was re-appointed to lead Eskom’s board. 

However, in the same statement, Makwana said his sudden departure was handled in a “positive” and “amicable” manner. 

“I am grateful for the opportunity afforded me by the government of the Republic of South Africa to serve a second term as chairperson of the board of directors of Eskom SOC Limited,” said Makwana, who first served as the board chair from 2009 to 2010. “I wish Eskom and its people success and thank its committed stewards for their unstinting efforts to revive the utility.”

Daily Maverick understands that the relationship between Gordhan and Makwana had broken down over the selection process for a new CEO to replace André de Ruyter. Makwana and his board colleagues had come up with nominations for a successor to De Ruyter, who left Eskom seven months ago. But it took four months for Gordhan to reject the Eskom board’s nominations for a successor to De Ruyter, pushing the board to start from scratch.

Gordhan said the work to restructure Eskom and appoint new leadership was ongoing.

“Our efforts to stabilise Eskom and restructure it into three subsidiaries – generation, transmission and distribution – remain on track. As a government, we are committed to ensuring that Eskom has the right skills, talent and experience to support our pursuit of a more secure energy future for South Africans,” he said. DM


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  • Joe Irwin says:

    If anyone needs a wrecking ball to destroy a major organisation, all they have to do is appoint either Pravin or Gwede. Success guaranteed.

    • Dianne Dobson says:

      Agreed! Old Communists must move on now – they are holding SA back!

      • Jimbo Smith says:

        Gwede, the world’s most gifted torturer of truth and logic. I wonder if he ever reflects on the catastrophic shrinkage of our mining industry which has cost this country massively in terms of lost opportunity, foreign investment, wealth creation, jobs etc., I doubt it; too busy trying to invent “policies” which simply propel further destruction. Einstein was on the money…

  • Cachunk Cachunk says:

    ANC policy: steal, undermine, deploy, destroy, pillage, lie, corrupt. It appears to work for them. How do we let them get away with it? Come on SA…

    • Jimbo Smith says:

      And then voila; get rewarded with a promotion. Look at Mblalula; on his watch Transnet and Portnet plunged to new depths of destruction and inefficiency at massive cost to SA. His reward; appointed as SG of the ANC, probably second most powerful position in this putrid organization. And he now uses his position to throw out whatever crosses his mind. It is beyond understanding!!!!

  • Shaun Slayer says:

    No wonder my wifi connection is running at -101 dBm. MTN needs to get its house in order and not try to save eishkom. 😉

  • Denise Smit says:

    Did anyone ever see Mpo, the only time was when he wanted De Ruiter to leave and threatened with Eskom going to take De Ruiter to court. The vacant space will now be occupied by some other body. Denise Smit

  • Nick Griffon says:

    Another casualty from political interference by the Pravin Gordhan wrecking ball.
    He must go now. His wake of destruction is there for all to see.

  • Jimbo Smith says:

    There is ALWAYS a root cause to a problem which has an effect. In this case look no further than Gordhan. He, through sheer incompetence, is the wrecking ball that has seen the destruction of every single entity he is responsible for. The merry-go-round of CEO and Board appointments, the huge tax payer bail outs and yet; not ONE of these entities is in recovery mode. The cost of his and his Ministry to this country’s economy is incalculable. Lost exports, lost revenue, lost taxes, lost jobs. And he remains in office!!!

  • Jennifer D says:

    It doesn’t really matter who they appoint. They have no intention of changing anything at all. More downward slide, higher salaries and cost an and for this they charge us more and more for their intermittent electricity supply. The plan is to run the country until it’s a wasteland – as long as BBEEE continues, entitlement continues and with that comes incompetence and lack of accountability. And whilst they aren’t actually doing their jobs, they can plan how to steal their next million.

    • Alan Watkins says:

      “The plan is to run the country until it’s a wasteland”. I disagree, thats not their plan if they even have a plan. The problem is that they think they are doing good and are wonderfully capable of taking Eskom, Spoornet, municipalities, the country etc etc to great heights. They simply have no idea just now incapable and incompetent they are.

  • Ian Gwilt says:

    not sure what the guy leaving did anyway other than threaten to take Du Ruiter to court.
    Is he the one who wanted a board meeting to approve each announcement of load shedding ?

  • Barry Messenger says:

    And so the show goes on…

  • JP K says:

    People who are pointing a finger at Gwede or Gordhan, I think, have got it wrong. The ANC is the problem. Remember how Gordhan was one of the good guys? Should Gordhan leave does anyone really think that he will be replaced with anyone better when the ANC is doing the replacing?

  • Michele Rivarola says:

    No idea of how to chair the board of an SOE that is intended to deliver services for a price. All he could do is flash the usual race card rather than actually addressing the fundamental problems in the organisation. Useless at the best of times. Good riddance.

  • steven sidley sidley says:

    A note of rare optimism. I know Mteto Nyati. He is one of the most successful, deepest thinking, empathetic, incorruptible and competent SA executives in recent history – Microsoft, MTN, Altron – leaving all of them better than he found them. If he can’t help, then no one can. A terrific appointment.

    • Anne Felgate says:

      Good news
      Thank you amid all the doom and gloom

    • Alley Cat says:

      We live in hope. But one has to wonder even if superman was appointed, would he be given the power and authority to REALLY run Eskom as he sees fit? I doubt it!

    • Angela Schaerer says:

      I couldn’t agree more Steven. Mteto is a remarkable man!

    • William Stucke says:

      I agree about Nyati being a Good Guy. However, let’s not forget that under his watch, MTN found themselves in deep doodoo in Nigeria and elsewhere recently. Some of their chaps tend to try and sail too close to the wind. 😉

    • Richard Worthington says:

      Thank you for a comment that actually provides some perspective with useful information. Read in conjunction with Mantashe’s remarks regarding Makwana’s resignation – the exculpatory sympathy for a man simply following the ‘mice’ to escape the ‘methane’ – and what that says about their alignment, I’m happy to regard this as GOOD NEWS.

  • Hilary Morris says:

    How sad it is that the overwhelming majority of these comments come from the ranks of the irrelevant. The level of frustration we feel has reached new heights with every failure of ANC rule – and God knows – failure is their strongest suit. Given the impact on every aspect of South African life, it is difficult to rise above the anger and look at the bigger picture. The current situation in Israel, horrific beyond imagining, contains perhaps, a hint of our own history. To expect the oppressed, (and in our case under-educated) to recover in a mere 30 years, and to possess the skills, knowledge and experience to run complex organisations and institutions, let alone govern, is unrealistic. Equally so, again sadly, to expect feedback from the former oppressors to be welcome, is probably equally so. And this is not intended to overlook the many competent people who have emerged. We are all co-contributors to this unholy f%*kup and until we can ALL rise above it and truly work together, nothing is likely to improve in a hurry. And all of that in no way lessens frustration with the corruption, fraud and greed that characterizes this government.

  • Fuad XXX says:

    I have a suggestion please – sincerely apologize to Mr Andre De Ruyters & make him an offer he can not refuse – he has been right all along & importantly there is(was? – fat chance) corruption at Eskom. Investigate those who wants to hang him out to dry. They got the cause.

  • Samantha Vandersteen says:

    “As a government, we are committed to ensuring that Eskom has the right skills, talent and experience…” Since when?

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