Carol Paton Deputy editor: Business Day
Herman Mashaba.  Picture: SOWETAN
Herman Mashaba. Picture: SOWETAN

Johannesburg mayor Herman Mashaba made a clean sweep through the city’s utilities on Thursday, replacing most nonexecutive directors and bringing in a new leadership corps with a mandate to wind down the companies.

Mashaba promised as part of his election platform that he would reincorporate the service delivery entities, which exist as stand-alone companies, back into the city’s structure. These include City Power, Johannesburg Water, Pikitup, the Johannesburg Property Company and the Johannesburg Roads Agency, among others.

The changes were made at a combined annual meeting on Thursday. Among the most significant was the replacement of the entire board of City Power, previously chaired by Rev Frank Chikane. The new chair will be Lael Bethlehem, an economic-development specialist in the city. Mashaba has also drafted in DA old-hand Douglas Gibson, formerly an MP.

Chikane’s removal came in the wake of a stand-off with Mashaba over the fate of City Power CE Sicelo Xulu, whom Mashaba wants suspended.

Chikane had refused to suspend Xulu on the grounds that he had been investigated on two occasions but no findings were made against him.

The stand-off also involved the demotion of mayoral committee member for infrastructure Anthony Still, who had agreed with Chikane.

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