Phakamani Hadebe. Picture: REUTERS/SIPHIWE SIBEKO
Phakamani Hadebe. Picture: REUTERS/SIPHIWE SIBEKO

Eskom , the monolithic state-owned power utility that’s grappling with an unsustainable debt load and chronic operational problems, has advertised for a new CEO officer two months after Phakamani Hadebe announced he would vacate the post.

The job is probably one of SA's most challenging — it entails overseeing a company that supplies about 95% of the nation’s electricity, has more than 47,600 employees and revenue of R190bn, yet isn’t selling enough power to cover its costs.

Hadebe said he would quit at the end of July because the role came with “unimaginable demands” that had taken a toll on his health.

The new CEO is required to have experience overseeing “significant change in a complex organisation with at least 20,000 employees and an annual turnover in excess of R30bn”, Eskom said in its advertisement.

He or she will also play a leading role in restructuring the utility, including implementing plans to split it into generation, distribution and transmission units under a state holding company.

“A competitive executive-level package will be tailored to attract the right calibre candidate, subject to approved remuneration and incentive guidelines,” Eskom said.

Other requirements include a university degree, ideally at a post-graduate level, 20 years work experience and strong commercial acumen, while experience and expertise in the engineering, construction and energy fields will be an advantage.

Applications close on August.

Meanwhile, further details on Eskom’s bailout are expected to disclosed this week. 

Finance minister Tito Mboweni said earlier in July that a special appropriation bill would be tabled in parliament on Tuesday, and it could see billions of rand allocated to Eskom as it grapples with interest payments on its R400bn debt burden.

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The special appropriation bill was announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa in his state of the nation address in June. He said the bill would front-load “a significant portion” of the R230bn required by Eskom over the next 10 years.

Ratings agency Moody’s Investors Service has indicated that SA will lose its investment-grade credit rating should the government’s debt and that of Eskom rise further. Moody’s is the last of the three major global ratings agencies to hold SA’s credit rating above junk status.

Bloomberg with staff writer