D-G flays Eskom 'reverse change'

THE Labour Department's new director-general, Jimmy Manyi, has called an urgent meeting with Eskom chairperson Bobby Godsell to find out why "transformation is firmly in reverse gear at Eskom".

Manyi, until recently head of the Black Management Forum, was appointed D-G of Labour last month. He has vowed to lean hard on white business to make sure it met its employment equity targets.

Manyi said Godsell was undoing all the progress the parastatal had made towards employment equity. He said the labour department was extremely concerned that Eskom's chief financial officer, Bongani Ngqwababa, who resigned last December, was recently replaced by Paul O'Flaherty - a white man.

Human resources director Mpho Letlape also resigned last year and has still not been replaced.

"We have to raise our disquiet and disappointment that parastatals have always been exemplary in matters of equity but Bobby Godsell is undoing all of that at Eskom. I want to meet him as a matter of urgency," Manyi told Sowetan.

"A black chief financial officer replaced with a white CFO - that's going backwards. You cannot tell me that of all the professions you can't find an African woman to take over as human resources director," he said.

He said he would also discuss with Godsell an anonymous letter sent to the Eskom board which reportedly accused chief executive Jacob Maroga of incompetence. Maroga has been accused of allowing Eskom to slide into a R9billion debt.

"I need to understand what is going on because I have a problem dealing with anonymous letters. If we are to begin to entertain anonymous letters, we will all spin on our heads," said Manyi.