Minister blocks Molefe’s R30m payout

Lynne Brown
File picture: Business Times

Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown has blocked the R30.1-million pension payout received by former Eskom chief executive Brian Molefe last month after he spent just 18 months at the power utility.

Yesterday‚ the minister said there was no justification for this payout by the parastatal’s board to Molefe.

“I found the argument presented by the board on why the pension arrangement was conceived lacking in legal rationale and it cannot be substantiated as a performance reward because Mr Molefe has already been granted a performance bonus for his contribution to the turnaround of Eskom,” Brown said.

“Nor is the proposed pension payout justifiable in light of the current financial challenges faced not only by state-owned companies (SOCs)‚ but by the country as a whole.

“I have in the past asked Eskom and the other five SOCs in my portfolio to demonstrate financial prudence and social consciousness when considering executive emoluments.”

Brown’s remarks follow a meeting she had with Eskom chairman Ben Ngubane on Wednesday at the utility’s head office in Johannesburg‚ following a recent Sunday Times exposé.

Brown has instructed Eskom’s board to urgently engage Molefe and report back to her with an appropriate pension proposal within seven days.

The Sunday Times reported that Molefe walked away with a R30.1-million “golden handshake” even though he had been at the power utility for only 18 months.

He told the newspaper that he had been paid what was due to him, but refused to give a figure.

Molefe resigned in November after being named by former public protector Thuli Madonsela in her State of Capture report.

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