Skip to Content

Centre for Environmental Rights - Advancing Environmental Rights in South Africa

Support Us Like us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter


Joint Media Release: Molefe’s return to Eskom is 10 steps back for transition to cleaner, greener energy

May 15, 2017 at 11:41 am

Credibility in tatters: Brian Molefe, reinstated CEO of Eskom. Image: Gallo
Credibility in tatters: Brian Molefe, reinstated CEO of Eskom. Image: Gallo

Reacting to the announcement that Brian Molefe has been reinstated as the Chief Executive Officer of Eskom, a civil society coalition consisting of, African Climate Reality ProjectGreenpeace Africa, the Life After Coal Campaign, Project 90 by 2030 and WWF South Africa had the following to say:

“Reinstating Brian Molefe after his disastrous exit from Eskom is a clear indictment of the catastrophic lack of oversight that the utility’s board is currently exhibiting. In his time as Eskom CEO, Molefe has shown he is an opponent of renewable energy and of a just energy transition for labour, communities and the environment. Instead, he prefers polluting coal and expensive nuclear power to the detriment of the South African economy. In addition, following allegations of his involvement with the Guptas in the State of Capture report, whatever remaining credibility he had is in tatters.

This decision is irrational and absurd – Brian Molefe took voluntary early retirement from Eskom in the interests of ‘good governance’, and there should be no circumstances under which the utility would consider reinstating him as CEO.

This decision clearly indicates how far down this dark pathway we have already gone, when instead of taking the opportunity to find a progressive and responsible CEO, Molefe is first offered a pay-out of R30 million and then, when this is deemed excessive, reinstated to run one of the most important entities in the country: our electricity provider.

In the face of the impacts of climate change, and rising poverty and inequality, this country needs Eskom to show good governance and strong leadership, by leading the way to a new energy future based on accountability, transparency and a better future for all. Brian Molefe is not the man for this job, and all South Africans should oppose his re-appointment. We also believe serious questions need to be asked about the ability of the board to oversee Eskom’s operations.”

Contact details: Lerato Letebele, Email:, Mobile: 076 562 4895

African Climate Reality Project: Gillian Hamilton, Email:, Mobile: 072 722 5630

Greenpeace Africa: Lerato Ngakane, Email:, Mobile: 081 464 9726

Life After Coal Campaign organisations (Centre for Environmental Rights, Earthlife Africa Jhb and groundWork):

Centre for Environmental Rights: Annette Gibbs, Email:, Mobile: 082 467 1295

Earthlife Africa: Makoma Lekalakala, Email:, Mobile: 082 682 9177

groundWork: Bobby Peak, Email:, Mobile: 082 464 1383

Project 90 By 2030: Richard Halsey, Email:, Mobile: 071 797 7195

WWF South Africa: Ellen Davies, Email:, Mobile: 082 444 4149

Section 24 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996

Everyone has the right to an environment that is not harmful to their health or well-being; and to have the environment protected, for the benefit of present and future generations, through reasonable legislative and other measures that prevent pollution and ecological degradation; promote conservation; and secure ecologically sustainable development and use of natural resources while promoting justifiable economic and social development.

Report a Violation

National Environmental Crimes & Incidents Hotline (24 hours): 0800 205 005

In addition, there are a number of national and provincial hotlines that may be useful.

Contact us

  • Telephone:+27 21 447 1647
  • Fax:+27 86 730 9098
  • Address:Second Floor, Springtime Studios, 1 Scott Road, Observatory, 7925, Cape Town
  • Map:View map