S.Africa’s power utility boss resigns as outages persist
The head of South Africa’s troubled power utility Eskom resigned Friday after he failed to end outages that have hit growth in the continent’s most industrialised economy.
Jabu Mabuza stepped down from his position as board chairman after the company, which generates around 95 percent of the country’s electricity, defaulted on its promise to not ration power, the South African presidency announced.
Power cuts resumed last weekend after a three-week lull.
Mabuza’s resignation came days after a new CEO Andre de Ruyter took over the reins of the debt-laden company last week.
A statement from South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said Mabuza “apologised for Eskom’s inability to meet the commitment … to avoid load shedding”.
Eskom has long struggled to produce enough power due to badly designed, ageing and poorly maintained coal-fired power stations as well as decades of mismanagement and alleged corruption.
It has amassed 450 billion rand ($30 billion, 28 billion euros) in debt, which economists warn is a major threat to South Africa’s overall economy.