THE Labour department's director-general, Jimmy Manyi, is making good on his promise to lean hard on businesses who fail to promote employment equity.

Speaking exclusively to Sowetan, Manyi said he had summoned Eskom board chairperson Bobby Godsell to a meeting next week.

Manyi wants to find out why Godsell has put "transformation at Eskom firmly into reverse gear".

Godsell will have to explain why he recently appointed a white male, Paul O'Flaherty, as the new Eskom chief financial officer to replace Bongani Ngqwababa, who resigned last December.

Manyi is also angry because former human resources director Mpho Letlape has still not been replaced.

"We have to raise our disquiet that parastatals have always been exemplary in matters of equity but Godsell is undoing all of that at Eskom," Manyi told Sowetan.

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

The ANC Youth League has also backed Maroga, saying the government of former president Thabo Mbeki was responsible for the problems at Eskom.