15 May 2017 — Reacting to the announcement that Brian Molefe has been reinstated as the Chief Executive Officer of Eskom, a civil society coalition consisting of African Climate Reality Project, 350Africa.org, Greenpeace Africa, the Life After Coal Campaign, Project 90 by 2030, Earthlife Africa, Centre for Environmental Rights, groundWork and WWF South Africa had the following to say:
“Reinstating Brian Molefe after his disastrous exit from Eskom is a clear indictment of the catastrophic lack of oversight that the utility’s board is currently exhibiting. In his time as Eskom CEO, Molefe has shown he is an opponent of renewable energy and of a just energy transition for labour, communities and the environment. Instead, he prefers polluting coal and expensive nuclear power to the detriment of the South African economy. In addition, following allegations of his involvement with the Guptas in the State of Capture report, whatever remaining credibility he had is in tatters.
This decision is irrational and absurd – Brian Molefe took voluntary early retirement from Eskom in the interests of ‘good governance’, and there should be no circumstances under which the utility would consider reinstating him as CEO.
This decision clearly indicates how far down this dark pathway we have already gone, when instead of taking the opportunity to find a progressive and responsible CEO, Molefe is first offered a pay-out of R30 million and then, when this is deemed excessive, reinstated to run one of the most important entities in the country: our electricity provider.
In the face of the impacts of climate change, and rising poverty and inequality, this country needs Eskom to show good governance and strong leadership, by leading the way to a new energy future based on accountability, transparency and a better future for all. Brian Molefe is not the man for this job, and all South Africans should oppose his re-appointment. We also believe serious questions need to be asked about the ability of the board to oversee Eskom’s operations.”