Bloomberg News

Eskom Names Tsotsi Chairman, South Africa Reshuffles Boards

June 09, 2011

(Updates with Transnet, Denel in third paragraph.)

June 9 (Bloomberg) -- Eskom Holdings Ltd., South Africa’s state power utility, appointed Zola Tsotsi as chairman as the government moved to reshuffle boards at the companies it controls.

Tsotsi was named among board members in a list given to reporters by Cabinet spokesman Jimmy Manyi in Cape Town today. Chief Executive Officer Brian Dames and Finance Director Paul O’Flaherty, listed among board directors on Eskom’s website, weren’t included.

Current Chairman Mpho Makwana said he was “unaware” of any move to dismiss him when Bloomberg News called today. Governance changes were also announced at state-owned defense contractor Denel Ltd., where Zoli Kunene was named head of the board. A reorganization can also be expected at state port and rail operator Transnet SOC Ltd., Manyi told reporters.

Eskom, which supplies about 95 percent of South Africa’s electricity, is spending about 460 billion rand ($68 billion) expanding power plants to prevent a repeat of a shortage that shut most of the country’s mines for about five days in January 2008 and caused rolling blackouts nationally.

“We need to ensure we grow our capacity to meet growing energy demands,” Tsotsi said today by mobile phone. He was head of business planning at Eskom between 1995 and 2004, and chairman of the Lesotho Electricity Authority until May. “I’m up to the task,” he said.

Board member Daniel Dube said he’s “not aware” of any planned board changes when Bloomberg News reached him by phone today. Hilary Joffe, a spokeswoman for the Johannesburg-based company, couldn’t immediately comment by mobile phone.

--With assistance from Carli Lourens in Johannesburg. Editors: Amanda Jordan, John Viljoen

To contact the reporters on this story: Robert Brand in Cape Town at rbrand9@bloomberg.net; Franz Wild in Johannesburg at fwild@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Ana Monteiro at amonteiro4@bloomberg.net; Andrew J. Barden at barden@bloomberg.net.


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