The South African government has appointed Phakamani Hadebe as chief executive of struggling state power firm, Eskom, ending a string of interim appointments that stretches back to 2016.
Hadebe has been leading efforts to stabilise Eskom, a company at the heart of corruption scandals surrounding ousted president Jacob Zuma, as interim CEO since January after an intervention by then-Deputy President, Cyril Ramaphosa.
Ramaphosa, who replaced Zuma as South Africa’s president in February, has made reforming state-owned firms a priority as he seeks to bolster economic growth and stave off sovereign credit ratings downgrades.
Eskom is regularly cited by ratings agencies as one of the main threats to the country’s creditworthiness.
“Cabinet has approved the appointment of Phakamani Hadebe as the new group chief executive of Eskom. This is a reflection of the excellent work he has done over the last few months at the institution,” Public Enterprises Minister, Pravin Gordhan, told reporters.
Eskom has not had a permanent CEO since Brian Molefe resigned in November 2016 after a report linked him to the Gupta family, whose relationship with Zuma is the subject of a South African judicial inquiry into state corruption.