'Eskom must have clear mandate of its responsibility'

The dust may have settled on the Eskom leadership debacle but economists have warned that the parastatal would need a clear mandate without political interference to run it.

The dust may have settled on the Eskom leadership debacle but economists have warned that the parastatal would need a clear mandate without political interference to run it.

This after the board of Eskom announced yesterday that it was looking for a new chief executive to replace Jacob Maroga.

Acting chairperson Mpho Makwana confirmed Maroga's resignation at a media briefing in Johannesburg yesterday.

Makwana said Maroga's verbal resignation two weeks ago was "clear and unambiguous" and the board had accepted it.

Makwana will act as board chairperson and chief executive until Maroga's replacement has been found. He said a new chief executive would be appointed within three months.

Political economist Mohau Pheko said parastatals needed to operate without political interference and a clear mandate on their functions and roles.

She warned that Makwana's dual role will blur the line between accountability and transparency .

Dawie Roodt, chief economist at Efficient Group, said the interference was undue.

"It was clear from the way things unfolded at Eskom that there was political interference," he said.

"If the board is appointed by government it should be allowed to make decisions and those should be respected."

Public Enterprises Minister Barbara Hogan said the leadership crisis had little impact on the running of the utility.

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