Dames named new Eskom chief executive

TWO major unions expressed delight yesterday at the appointment of a new chief executive and board chairperson at Eskom.

TWO major unions expressed delight yesterday at the appointment of a new chief executive and board chairperson at Eskom.

Minister of Public Enterprises Barbara Hogan on Tuesday announced the appointment of Brian Dames as chief executive and Mpho Makwana as chairperson of the Eskom board.

Solidarity spokesperson Jaco Kleynhans said the union was "delighted" at Dames's appointment because he was their preferred candidate.

"He has experience on the operational side of Eskom, which is where the focus should be with the building of new power stations," Kleynhans said.

He said Dames and Makwana were the best team to lead the parastatal.

The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) said it hoped Dames's appointment would "speedily resolve wage negotiations at the parastatal".

Numsa spokesperson Castro Ngobese said: "Dames is a reputable, competent and people's person.

"He is broad-minded in his execution of tasks at hand."

However, the union criticised the two appointments, saying they had both failed the utility "dismally" during their tenures.

Dames had served in various management positions, including chief officer of Eskom's generation business

Makwana was appointed acting chairperson last year following the resignation of Bobby Godsell.

The unions will continue wage negotiations at the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration today.

National Union of Mineworkers spokesperson Lesiba Seshoka said the union was not happy with Eskom's offer of a wage increase, which it raised from 6percent to 7percent.

The union had threatened to embark on a strike if its demand for a 15percent wage increase and housing allowances for its members were not met.

"At the snail's pace that Eskom is moving, we don't see how we can reach a resolution any time soon," Seshoka said.

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