Gordhan reportedly tells Eskom not to rule out CEO candidates close to retiring

  • In the search for an Eskom CEO to replace Andre de Ruyter, the utility has reportedly ignored candidates older than 60 years-old.
  • Upon learning this, Minister of Public Enterprises, Pravin Gordhan said that the utility should expand its search as the CEO position isn’t bound by Eskom retirement rules.
  • The average age of retirement in South Africa is 65 years-old.

The average age at which South Africans retire from the world of work is 65. It’s truly bizarre then that Minister of Public Enterprises, Pravin Gordhan has allegedly told Eskom not to rule out candidates older than 60 in its search for a new chief executive officer.

As reported by The Citizen citing a report from Business Day (paywall), Gordhan learned that the energy utility wasn’t considering candidates older than 60 for the position of CEO at Eskom.

“The board previously informed me that the candidates that were above 60 years of age were not considered for the vacant position of GCEO of Eskom. I therefore suggest that the board consider including candidates above 60,” Gordhan reportedly wrote in a letter to the Eskom board of directors.

“I understand that Eskom’s condition of service makes provision for permanent employment up to the age of 65. After the age of 65, there is a provision for further employment in a temporary capacity as a fixed-term contractor. However, I understand that the GCEO is not a member of the pension fund, and the age limit of 65 years doesn’t apply.”

This is a bizarre stance to take given that Gordhan is asking the Eskom board to consider a candidate who is likely to retire before any change can come to the organisation. While we understand that there is pressure to find Andre de Ruyter’s replacement, surely we shouldn’t be opening the position to just anybody, especially if they may not be around to see their efforts to address the energy crisis come to fruition.

We should point out that there is no age at which South Africans are forced to retire. With that having been said, one doesn’t have to look far to find that South Africans are fed up with older leaders. Of course, the inverse is true and older citizens may not want a younger leader fearing they may be inexperienced and inept.

We should, however, point out that Eskom has been without a group CEO for a while now and while we’re sure Calib Cassim is doing his best as the interim chief exec a more permanent appointment is sorely needed.


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