Eskom board approved - Lynne Brown

Professor Malegapuru Makgoba and Professor Tshepo Mongalo the two new members

Cabinet approves new Eskom Board

Cabinet has approved a new Board for Eskom on a 3-year term subject to an annual review, and expressed support for Minister of Public Enterprises Lynne Brown’s strategy to recruit specialist business expertise to fill additional vacant Board positions prior to the Annual General Meeting in June 2018.

The new Eskom Board approved by Cabinet this week comprises (current interim Board members) Chairperson Mr Zethembe Khoza, Dr Pat Naidoo, Mr Giovanni Leonardi, Dr Pulane Molokwane, Mr Simphiwe Dingaan, Dr Banothile Makhubela, Mr Sathiaseelan Gounden, (and new Board members) Professor Malegapuru Makgoba and Professor Tshepo Mongalo.

Professor Makgoba is an internationally recognised public health advocate, and is the current Health Ombud of South Africa. He is a former Principal of the University of KwaZulu-Natal and is the current Deputy Chair of the National Planning Commission. He is highly regarded as a transformation and ethics authority, and well versed in government policy, corporate governance and human resources.

Professor Mongalo is a legal practitioner and academic, expert in company law and familiar with the environment within which State-Owned Companies operate. He served as Vice-Chairperson of the Department of Trade and Industry’s Specialist Committee on Company Law. His corporate financial law, business strategy, ethics and corporate governance skills will be invaluable to Eskom’s Board.

An additional candidate, who has business strategy expertise and was approved by Cabinet, ultimately declined his nomination citing the highly-charged environment in which Eskom is operating.

This situation reflects the difficulty the Minister has faced in putting together a strong Board including people of the necessary calibre and leadership gravitas.

In terms of the Memorandum of Incorporation (MOI) read together with the Board appointment framework, Minister Brown is required to test the eligibility of directors through consideration of best practice – which includes a proper balance of skills, demographics, generation mix and tenure.

The process of vetting board candidates, including the verification of qualifications, criminal and directorship checks, takes up to four weeks to complete. Thereafter, the internal administrative process is initiated that leads to a shortlist.

Mindful of the fact that the Shareholder Representative is not an operational position, the Minister expects the Board to take control and lead the company in taking decisive action in addressing the challenges of leadership, governance and ethics.

“I will be instructing the Board that the appointment of a new Group Chief Executive is an absolute priority,” Minister Brown said.

The Board must deal decisively, among others, in addressing the audit qualification to avoid a repeat, ensuing investigations and the suspensions at EXCO level must be prioritised and finalised expeditiously. These issues must be addressed in order to improve the Eskom brand, investor confidence and performance of the company at all levels.

The Board and Management must take strides, within its control, to address the internal control deficiencies and the finalisation of Eskom’s own internal investigations.

The Board, to be led by Mr Khoza, until the 2018 Annual General Meeting, will be further reinforced by filling the vacancies with appropriate expertise from the business sector.

The Board will be strengthened by Minister Brown talking to business organisations in order to fill the 4 vacant positions.

The Minister also thanked the other Board members for steering Eskom through this difficult environment and ensuring that the company is stable and continue supporting the South African economy.

These arrangements provide continuity at a difficult time for Eskom and I urge the Board to be strong in the face of adversity and remain diligent. To maintain and observe the highest standards of integrity and probity in the execution of their responsibilities.” Minister Brown said.

Profiles of Eskom’s Non-Executive Directors:

Mr Zethembe Khoza has a Diploma for Technician and a Senior Executive Program Certificate. He is currently a Director of Zete Kay Investments. Prior to that, he was Group Executive responsible for Contact Centre Operations and also Acting Group Executive for Procurement Services at Telkom SA Pty Ltd. His skills and expertise in leadership, financial management and public policy continues to add value to the Board.

Dr Pat Naidoo obtained his doctorate in 2008 from the Da Vinci Institute for Technology Management, South Africa. From 1985 to June 2010 he was in the employ of Eskom having served in various positions from engineer-in-training to Senior General Manager. He is currently a Specialist Consultant and Resident Professional Engineer at Pat Naidoo Consulting Engineers cc RSA since September 2010. His skills and expertise in business strategy within the energy industry continues to add value to the Board.

Mr Giovanni Leonardi has a Diploma in Electrical Engineering and a Senior Executive Program Certificate. He is the former CEO of Alpiq Holding Ltd (former Atel Ltd), leading Swiss electricity provider from 2004 to 2011. He also worked as the CEO at Atel Elettroimpianti Ticino SA- Energy Services (former Sarr SA/ Inelectra SA). His skills and expertise in international electricity industry continues to add value to the Board.

Prof. Malegapuru William Makgoba obtained a PhD in Human Immunogenetics from Oxford University in 1983, Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery (M.B & Ch.B.) from University of Natal in 1976. Prof Makgoba is an internationally recognised molecular immunology. He is the Health Ombud of South Africa and the Deputy Chair of the 2nd National Planning Commission. He is internationally recognised for his contribution to advances in health. His skills and competencies of being a recognised leader, driving the transformation agenda of the country, dealing with complex matters relating to Government policy, Corporate Governance and Human Resources.

Prof Tshepo Herbert Mongalo obtained a PhD in Commercial Law from University of Cape Town in 2015, LLM in Commercial Law from University of Cambridge in 2000, LLB from University of Natal in 1998 and B.Proc from University of Natal 1997. Prof Mongalo is currently Associate Professor of Commercial Law at the University of Witwatersrand (WITS). He is a founder and the member of the Tong-Mongalo Corporate Services CC, which was contracted to assist the Presidential SOE Review Committee (PRC) in research and the preparation of the Integrated Report on the Regulatory Framework for the Governance and Ownership of the State Owned Entities. His skills in Legal, Corporate Governance and Ethics, Business Strategy, Corporate and Financial Law and Policy.

Dr Pulane Elsie Molokwane obtained a Ph.D in Chemical Technology (Environmental), Environmental Engineering. Dr Molokwane is registered with the Scientific Profession Council of South Africa as a Professional Natural Scientist and is a Board member of Inkomati Usuthu Catchment Management Area, Sedibeng Water Board and Crescentwood Home Owners Association. Dr Molokwane is a founder and Managing Director at POB Environment Solutions. Her expertise in Environment, Project Management, Research, Nuclear Fuel Management, Corporate Governance, Water and Waste Management is expected to add value to the Board.

Mr Simphiwe Dingaan obtained a B.Com degree from the University of Natal in 1997. Mr Dingaan’s career has complementary corporate and entrepreneurial leadership roles. After working for Rand Merchant Bank and Mondi, Mr Dingaan founded Veraison (Pty) Ltd, an investment holding company specialised in the medical industry. Over a period of three years he led a team that built one of the foremost medical facilities in KwaZulu-Natal from concept to completion. His current Directorships, amongst other include Skweyiya Investments, Askhar and Dingaan, Dovetail Trading and Dirang Logistics. His skill in Corporate Financial Management, Auditing, Risk and Project Management  is expected to add value to the Board.

Dr Banothile Makhubela obtained PhD in Chemistry from the University of Cape Town in 2011, Master of Science (MSc) in Chemistry by dissertation from University of Cape Town in 2008, Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Chemistry from University of Cape Town in 2006 and Bachelor of Science (BSc) from University of Zululand in 2005. Dr Makhubela is currently advising/supervising scientific research projects at BSc Honours, Masters and Ph.D level within University of Johannesburg and University of Cape Town. She is Non-Executive Director on the Board of PetroSA. Her skills in research, chemistry in the energy industry is expected to add value to the Board.

Mr Sathiaseelan Gounden obtained a B. Compt from UNISA a Higher Diploma in Accounting (CTA) from the University of Durban- Westville; a Certificate in Forensic Accounting & Fraud Examination from the University of Pretoria; completed an Executive Leadership Development Institute at Harvard Business School and is an Accredited Mediator. He has extensive auditing, accounting, forensics, consulting and tax experience; is an expert in financial reporting using IFRS / SA GAAP / GRAP. His knowledge in risk management; the PFMA & Treasury regulations; Financial reporting; the King Code on Corporate Governance, the Companies Act and BBBEE is expected to add value to the Board.

Issued by Colin Cruywagen, Department of Public Enterprises, 8 December 2017