Brian Dames is Eskom’s new CEO, with effect from 1 July. The Eskom veteran is taking control of the power utility at a turbulent time in its history. He will need to ensure Eskom is able to keep the lights on until new hundreds of billions of rand in new generation capacity come on stream in the next few years.
At the same time, Mpho Makwana has been named chairman of the board. Makwana, who was appointed as interim chairman in November last year, says Dames’s appointment completes the leadership team at Eskom, and will lead it “further into a new era”.
“We welcome the appointment of Dames and look forward to the stability that his appointment brings to Eskom,” the parastatal says in a statement.
Dames is currently Eskom’s chief officer for the generation business. He was appointed to Eskom’s executive management committee in September 2004 after serving Eskom in various management positions. He joined the utility in 1987 as a graduate-in-training and has extensive experience in electricity business. He holds a BSc (Hons), an MBA, and a graduate diploma in utility management.
Last year, Eskom’s board fired former CEO Jacob Maroga. This followed his denial that he had offered to resign from the electricity utility.
The appointment of a CEO has dragged out as Eskom has had to wait for a ruling by the high court in Johannesburg that Maroga could not stop the board from appointing a successor.
Maroga wanted to be reinstated to his former position, but the judge found that although his termination was illegal, he could not rejoin Eskom as his relationship with its board had broken down “irretrievably”.
The court also heard that Maroga could not be reinstated because he had insulted public enterprises minister Barbara Hogan in court papers he filed to get an R85m payout for unlawful dismissal.
“The filling of these two vacancies brings to an end months of speculation, and means that Eskom can now return its full attention to its core business,” a statement from the public enterprises department reads.
Former chairman Bobby Godsell resigned during a heated board meeting at which Maroga was removed from his post. Makwana then took over as acting chairman. — Sapa