South Africa picks Marokane as next CEO of power firm Eskom

By Bhargav Acharya

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) -South Africa’s government on Friday appointed Dan Marokane as its next Chief Executive Officer of its state power firm Eskom, which has implemented the worst rolling blackouts on record this year.

Marokane, who previously held senior Eskom positions, including as its head of group capital, will rejoin no later than March 31 of next year, Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan said in a statement.

Marokane has been acting-CEO of sugar producer Tongaat Hulett since the end of February.

Bloomberg News reported on Thursday that Marokane was expected to be appointed as Eskom CEO.

Eskom has been without a permanent CEO since February when then-CEO Andre de Ruyter left with immediate effect and its Chief Financial Officer Calib Cassim took over in an interim capacity.

The debt-laden company has struggled to keep the lights on in Africa’s most industrialised economy for more than a decade. But this year power outages have been particularly bad, leaving households and businesses in the dark for up to 10 hours a day.

“He will hit the ground running. That is what Eskom and South Africa need right now,” the chairman of Eskom’s board of directors, Mteto Nyati, said in a statement issued by the utility.

In a separate statement on Friday, Gordhan announced the appointment of Tsepo Monaheng as the new CEO of state-owned defence company Denel.

(Additional reporting by Tannur AndersEditing by Alexander Winning and Louise Heavens)