The ledership turmoil engulfing embattled state-owned entities (SOEs) deepened this week, with the resignation of Eskom’s group treasurer Andre Pillay, who will leave the power producer at the end of next month, ending an eight-year career with the company.
Calib Cassim, Eskom’s chief financial officer, said that Pillay had shown commitment towards managing Eskom’s liquidity through some of the most challenging times for the company.
“We are cognisant of how critical the group treasurer role is for Eskom and have requested that Andre remain in the position for the next two months to ensure a seamless transition and business continuity through the handover process,” Cassim said.
“Andre’s replacement will be announced in due course. We believe that the Treasury operations will continue with ease with the support of the current Treasury leadership.”
Pillay earlier this year laid bare the pressure that had been brought to bear on him and his colleagues during the height of the alleged capture of the utility by Gupta-linked companies.
In March he told the state capture commission that former Eskom chief financial officer Anoj Singh brought in consultancy firms McKinsey and Trillian Capital to draft the power utility’s corporate plan, even though that responsibility fell under the Treasury.
A Treasury report into Eskom released late in 2018 found that the power utility entered into illegal agreements with McKinsey and Gupta-linked Trillian Capital, paying the companies more than R1billion without a contract approved by the Treasury.
Pillay’s departure comes just under two months after the shock resignation of Eskom’s chief executive Phakamani Hadebe in May, which laid bare the toxic nature of what is arguably one of the toughest job in South Africa.
Hadebe, in a frank statement, said that the job to turn around the fortunes of the debt-laden power producer had had a negative impact on his health.
Eskom’s debt is fast approaching the R500bn mark and the utility is in need of emergency funding from the government in the coming months to stay afloat.
South African Airways, the cash-burning national carrier, has in the past two months also seen key executives leaving the company, which needs a R4bn bailout to survive the current financial year. -BusinessReport