Organised black business has expressed happiness that Dan Marokane will be starting his job as Eskom chief executive earlier than initially expected, on March 1.
The department of public enterprises had initially said Marokane would take over the Eskom reins around March 31. Eskom, however, on Friday shed new light, saying Marokane would start occupying what is arguably the country’s hottest seat on March 1.
The state-owned enterprise’s statement comes after cash-strapped sugar producer Tongaat Hulett on Thursday revealed in a Stock Exchange News Service announcement that Marokane, who has been the company’s interim chief executive, will leave at the end of February.
During an interview, Black Business Council vice-president Gregory Mofokeng said he was starting in March.
“We have raised our concerns with government around the stability of the leadership at Eskom and the absence of a CEO for a prolonged period does bring about uncertainty,” said Mofokeng.
He said they expected him to stabilise electricity generation. “We are not happy with loadshedding and it is a huge concern that loadshedding is still continuing, especially for business.
“We are hoping when he starts, the first priority will be to ensure that he puts a stop to loadshedding,” he said.
He added that Eskom also needed to invest in electricity transmission infrastructure that will support the newly built renewable energy capacity.
Mofokeng said Marokane should also address corruption at the parastatal. “It is non-negotiable that he must address corruption. We do expect him to make sure that those elements, which are corrupt, are out of the system,” he said.
In a statement, Tongaat, which is under administration, issued on Thursday, said: “The company hereby notifies shareholders that Dan Marokane will be stepping down from his role as interim chief executive officer.
“It has been public knowledge that Dan will be appointed as Eskom’s new chief executive officer, prior to the adoption of the Vision business rescue plan, published on 29 November 2023 including amendments proposed and approved.”
The company said Marokane will spend the next six weeks at the sugar producer doing a handover with the team and the business rescue practitioners to ensure a smooth transition.
The company praised his contribution, describing him as an integral member of the Tongaat Hulett board of directors and its executive team.
“Through his leadership he has guided the company in support of the BRPs throughout the business rescue process,” said the company statement.
Eskom board chairman, Mteto Nyati said: “On behalf of the Eskom board, I officially welcome Dan to the organisation. Eskom employees were excited to hear that Dan will rejoin the company.
“They remember his hands-on leadership style that is needed right now.
“The board wishes him well as he steers Eskom in the right direction and leading its turnaround from the front.
“We have confidence in his capabilities, as well as those of the leadership and staff of Eskom, to turn the organisation around,” added Nyati.
“The board also expresses its deepest gratitude to Calib Cassim for his leadership and the stability he brought as the acting group CEO.”