Phakamani Hadebe. Picture: FREDDY MAVUNDA
Phakamani Hadebe. Picture: FREDDY MAVUNDA

Eskom CEO Phakamani Hadebe has resigned from the troubled state-owened power utility, and will be stepping down at the end July. 

Hadebe said he was stepping down for health reasons.

"It is no secret that this role comes with unimaginable demands which have unfortunately had a negative impact on my health," he said.

"In the best interest of Eskom and my family, I have therefore decided to step down."

Hadebe was part of the new leadership appointed at Eskom last year as part of the clean-up at the power utility. 

Eskom, which was one of the state-owned entities embroiled in the state capture project, is struggling with a liquidity problem and finds itself in R440bn debt. 

Eskom is unable to service its debt from its revenue and is in a classic debt trap, borrowing to finance interest payments. It also has about R45bn in debt redemptions that will fall due in the fourth quarter.

Business Day reported earlier this week that Eskom urgently needed a much bigger commitment of government support to persuade auditors that it will remain a going concern.

The Eskom board said it was grateful to Hadebe for his commitment to ensuring leadership stability. It said it would engage with him in the next two weeks to ensure continuity and a steady transition.

Board chairman Jabu Mabuza said Hadebe had been instrumental in driving stability at Eskom during a very challenging time for the organisation. 

"On behalf of myself and the board, I would like to extend my sincere gratitude to Mr Hadebe for his contribution to Eskom's transition journey," board chairman Jabu Mabuza said.

"The dedication and passion with which he has taken to fulfilling such a critical mandate is commendable."

quintalg@businesslive.co.za