Seize this opportunity to make Eskom board fit for purpose

When Jabu Mabuza announced his resignation as Eskom board chair, President Ramaphosa’s office said the government would “soon announce a reconfigured Eskom board with the appropriate mix of electricity industry, engineering and corporate experience”.

Parmi Natesan, CEO of the Institute of Directors in South Africa (IoDSA), says that this opportunity must not be wasted.

“The IoDSA has repeatedly warned that government must ensure that state-owned entities have boards with the right mix of skills to fulfil their mandates.

“Government should resist the temptation to select the new board members on its own—proper consultation with informed people will help ensure the right people are chosen and begin rebuilding public trust in the organisation.”

The uniqueness of the public sector is that government is the dominant shareholder. Often the appointments are made by a group of individuals in government and sometimes political motivations take precedence over appointing people with the right experience, skills and knowledge to take the company forward.

Parmi Natesan, Chief Executive of the South African Institute of Directors in South Africa (IoDSA)

A board is a collective. It's all about balance and diversity. When I say the word diversity I don't only mean diversity in race, age and gender. It means diversity of skills and experience. You may have people with industry knowledge, or an engineering background, or energy experience... it's about collective knowledge. You need to look at skills, knowledge, qualifications and social skills. The board needs to apply their minds to what kind of skills are needed to fix this organisation - and what grouping of people we need to secure this organisation to add value.

Parmi Natesan, Chief Executive - IoDSA

Listen to the full interview below.

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