(Updates with CEO challenging suspension)
By Wendell Roelf
CAPE TOWN, March 25 Board members at South
Africa's Eskom will vote on whether to remove Chairman
Zola Tsotsi on Wednesday, sources said, deepening a leadership
crisis at the power utility as chronic power cuts hobble
Africa's most developed economy.
Eskom's chief executive, Tshediso Motana, who was
temporarily relieved of his duties earlier this month along with
three fellow executives, filed a complaint of "unfair
suspension" with the national labour arbitrator, the body
The firing of the executives led to Standard and Poor's
cutting Eskom's credit status to junk last Thursday, saying the
suspensions had led to a loss of confidence in the company's
Minister of Public Enterprises Lynne Brown told parliament
on Wednesday power outages were costing the country between $1.7
billion and $6.8 billion a month and that she was concerned
about the management at state-owned Eskom.
Eskom's board will hold a vote of no confidence in Tsotsi, a
government source and a source at Eskom told Reuters. Brown said
she had not been "formally informed" about Tsotsi's future.
"I am very worried because Eskom is a strategic asset, all
of our lives depend on it," she said.
Eskom has implemented regular power cuts this year to
prevent the national grid being overwhelmed as South Africa
faces its worst energy crisis since 2008.
($1 = 11.8200 rand)
(Additional reporting by Peroshni Govender; Writing by Joe
Brock and Mfuneko Toyana; Editing by James Macharia and Janet