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Statement by the Minister of Public Enterprises
Statement by the Minister of Public Enterprises, Minister Lynne Brown, regarding the decision by Eskom Board on the pension of Mr Brian Molefe and the progress into the interim CEO, Mr Matshela Koko
This week, the Board of Eskom briefed me on the outcome of its consultations with former Group Chief Executive Mr Brian Molefe following my request that the proposed pension pay-out to Mr Molefe be re-evaluated.
After considering various options, the Board proposed that Mr Molefe returns all monies received on his departure from Eskom on 1 January 2017 and is reinstated as Group Chief Executive with immediate effect.
In terms of the Board’s proposal, Mr Molefe agreed to serve out the remainder of his original contract and to reconsider the terms of his contract that resulted in the previous pension arrangement.
I believe that Eskom will benefit from the return to the helm of the man primarily responsible for the company’s turnaround in 2015/2016, and that the Board's proposal ultimately represents a significantly better value proposition to the South African fiscus than the previous pension proposal.
I informed the Board I was satisfied with its re-evaluation process and recognised the merit in its proposal – on the proviso of its legality.
However, this matter has raised an important broader issue relating to State Owned Companies. I have asked my Department to work with the State Owned Companies to ensure that the pension packages negotiated with Executives at State-Owned Companies are in line with the Cabinet approved Remuneration Standards.
In a related development, the Board has briefed me on the status of the investigation into allegations of impropriety regarding Eskom's acting CE, Matshela Koko. The Board appointed a firm of attorneys to conduct the probe independently. The appointed firm has requested more time to complete its work. The Board is of the view that this extra time should be granted. In the interest of the process, the Interim Group Chief Executive has decided to take leave until the investigation is finalised by mid-June. I support the Acting CE's decision.
I would like to assure South Africans that the final investigative report will be transparently handled, and firm action will be taken against Mr Koko should evidence of wrongdoing be discovered.
Finally, I would like to reiterate my call for a decisive investigation into allegations of maladministration raised in various reports, including the former Public Protector's State of Capture report. Clouds of unproven allegations and counter-allegations are doing State Owned Companies and our country a great disservice.
For enquiries contact Colin Cruywagen on 082 3779916.