load shedding Eskom Jan oberholzer

Eskom COO Jan Oberholzer. Image: Supplied

Eskom restructuring to see COO position eliminated – report

An Eskom board member announced plans to do away with the COO position. Both CEO and COO are expected to leave the power utility in the coming weeks.

load shedding Eskom Jan oberholzer

Eskom COO Jan Oberholzer. Image: Supplied

Struggling power utility Eskom intends to get rid of the Chief Operating Officer (COO) position, according to a board member. The incumbent, Jan Oberholzer, is expected to vacate the job this year.


City Press reported that Eskom board member Mteto Nyathi said the power utility would get rid of the COO position due to its strategy going forward, which will see the parastatal unbundled and split into separate divisions that handle the transmission, generation and distribution of electricity.

“Looking at where we are going at Eskom, its strategic intent, the fact that there is going separation and unbundling of the different entities and also looking back at where we come from, this phenomenon is something new within Eskom. So, given those two considerations, it was felt that going forward, we’re not going to have a COO,” said Mteto, according to the newspaper.

Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter, who announced his resignation late in 2022, is expected to leave his office in March 2023, while Oberholzer is expected to retire a month later.

READ: Eskom confirms Andre de Ruyter’s resignation – this is when his final day will be

Energy analyst, Chris Yelland, said he has heard that De Ruyter and Obeholzer, along with Chief Financial Officer (CFO), are estranged from the Departments of Public Enterprises and Mineral Resources and Energy,

According to the analyst, the C-level executives were not invited to the last media briefing held by the power utility.

“The new board is said to be bypassing the Eskom CEO, COO, CFO and executives and engaging directly with middle management. I wonder if a big step backwards is happening at Eskom, with a looming leadership vacuum and the board chair set to take the acting CEO position on 1 April,” said Yelland.

De Ruyter and Oberholzer have been at the head of the company during the worst period of load shedding South Africa has ever experienced. Power cuts have been part of daily life this year, dating back to 2022.