JOHANNESBURG – South African state-owned power utility Eskom appointed Johnny Dladla as acting chief executive on Thursday, a stopgap measure after a leadership crisis at the company worsened last week when the chairman abruptly resigned.
Dladla, currently CEO of investment arm Eskom Enterprises and with more than two decades’ experience at the utility, replaces Brian Molefe, who was removed last month by a team of government ministers amid growing concerns about governance at the country’s sole electricity provider.
“Dladla is a seasoned business leader with impeccable credentials. His business acumen, which includes his commendable knowledge of Eskom intricacies, will come in handy in his new role,” acting chairman Zethembe Khoza said in a statement.
Dladla takes the helm as Eskom has come under scrutiny in the media after leaked documents put it at the centre of allegations of improper dealings in government contracts by business friends of President Jacob Zuma.
Eskom was also named in a report by the Public Protector, a constitutionally mandated corruption watchdog, which raised questions over coal deals between the utility and a company controlled by the Gupta family, business friends of Zuma.
Eskom has denied any wrongdoing.
A leadership crisis deepened last week when chairman Ben Ngubane resigned, citing personal reasons. His departure came two weeks after the government reversed Eskom’s decision to reinstate Molefe as chief executive.
Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown said in a statement: “I welcome the appointment of Mr Dladla as it will bring further stability to Eskom and its executive team.”