Meet the CEO chosen to fix Eskom and stop loadshedding

  • Eskom’s new CEO, Dan Marokane, begins his new job today.
  • He returns to the position after spending six years attempting in vain to pull Tongaat Hullet out of financial ruin.
  • Eskom’s chair of the board says Marokane’s first duty is to make loadshedding a thing of the past.

The new chief executive of South Africa’s ailing power utility Eskom is expected to begin his tenure today, 1st March 2024 – coincidentally the 101st anniversary of Eskom’s establishment. His name is Dan Marokane (pictured above) and he previously served in the position of group CEO for Eskom from 2010 to 2015.

According to a statement from Eskom, the new CEO “rejoins Eskom at a time when the organisation faces an existential challenge.” This challenge is the energy crisis facing South Africa, as rolling blackouts – intensified in the last few years – are now a daily fixture of life in the country, costing the economy billions of Rands every day.

The Eskom board has expressed confidence in Marokane. “We expect Dan and his leadership team to accomplish at least two critical tasks. First, they must address the current business challenges. Loadshedding must be a thing of the past,” remarks Eskom board chair Mteto Nyati.

“Second, they need to reposition and restructure Eskom to enable growth and sustainability.” Marokane inherits a utility his predecessor André de Ruyter said was on the verge of collapse, and worse, could never be fixed. De Ruyter departed the utility amid a falling out with the board and an alleged attempt on his life through poison slipped into his coffee.

The businessman already has his first 100 days planned before him, if the prospect of fixing years of loadshedding and saving Eskom from ailing infrastructure, poorly implemented plans, years of sabotage, and facing pressure from over 60 million angry South Africans was not daunting enough.

Nyati says that the new Eskom CEO will have to prioritise the establishment of a generation recovery plan, reviewing the plans to split Eskom into three different companies, and to engage with internal and external stakeholders while doing so.

“Dan has the full support of the Eskom board. Eskom employees are excited to welcome him back into the organisation. We invite all South Africans to rally behind him as he steers Eskom toward stability, reliability and sustainability,” adds Nyati.

Aside from his tenure at Eskom, Marokane was most recently the group executive of Tongaat Hullet, one of South Africa’s biggest agriculture and processing firms. Marokane did not leave the company in good standing, as the firm is in abject financial distress. In January a consortium approved Tongaat Hullet’s business rescue plans.

In fact, Marokane, who served at Tongaat for six years as its boss, left so quickly they only found an interim executive to replace him last month, writes MoneyWeb. Marokane joined the company in 2018 in an attempt to pull it out of financial squalor amid an accounting scandal. Previous to this tenure, Marokane was an “independent” energy and infrastructure professional.

According to his LinkedIn, Marokane has “world class academic credentials, with good exposure to global business practices and interactions.” He has an MBA from the University of Cape Town, and a Diploma from the Department of Earth Science and Engineering from Imperial College in London, UK.

He will join the laundry list of Eskom CEOs once again, as the utility has seen more than a dozen executives in the past 15 years. “It’s an extremely tough job,” De Ruyter told Reuters amid news of the appointment. “Maybe he should avoid having a personalised coffee mug.”

[Image – Eskom on X]


About Author


Related News