JOHANNESBURG – The chairman of South Africa state-run power utility Ben Ngubane has resigned and former acting chief executive Zethembe Khoza will fill the role on an interim basis, the company and the ministry of public enterprises said on Tuesday.
Cash-strapped Eskom, which provides virtually all of the power for Africa’s most industrialised economy, has been the focus of infighting in the ruling African National Congress (ANC) since Brian Molefe, an ally of President Jacob Zuma, stood down as chief executive amid graft allegations.
He was reinstated last month, but ministers then reversed his reinstatement.
Eskom board spokesperson Khulani Qoma told 702 Talk Radio Ngubane had stepped down for personal reasons. His resignation comes after a legislator said South Africa’s parliament would launch a probe next week into Eskom amid allegations of mismanagement involving government tenders.
The Minister of Public Enterprises Lynne Brown said in a statement that she had appointed Khoza “to ensure continuity at Eskom.”
Last week, local media began reporting on thousands of leaked emails they say expose how the Gupta family, wealthy businessmen who are friends of Zuma, uses undue influence over politicians to win government contracts, including contracts from Eskom.