Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown has again done the odd thing that has become normal practice for cabinet ministers in SA. She has appointed a collection of people to sit on the board of one of the most important firms in the economy who are entirely unsuited to the job. The four new appointments to the Eskom board are an academic, two entrepreneurs with scant corporate experience and a fourth with a number of qualifications in the auditing and accounting realm but also with no big business experience. Eskom is a large, complicated company. Its financial position is particularly precarious. It is locked into large capital-building programmes that require it to take on an increasing debt burden at ever-increasing cost. Even analysts whose speciality is to understand SA’s state-owned companies complain that its financial arrangements are opaque and its true financial situation is unclear. Even more serious is that the company is clearly sitting on a mountain of corruption, the ...

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