The former chairman of state-owned South African utility Eskom and widely admired businessman Jabu Mabuza has died from Covid-19 complications on Wednesday, his family announced.
Mabuza, 63, resigned unexpectedly from Eskom in early 2020 after apologising for failing to meet a commitment to avoid power cuts during the holiday period. He had been appointed to lead the Eskom board shortly after President Cyril Ramaphosa won the African National Congress (ANC) party leadership in December 2017.
“Jabu lived his life so beautifully and committed to the transformation of South Africa’s economy,” the statement from his family read.
“He was a pillar of strength for his family, a dedicated servant of the country, an activist in empowering black entrepreneurs and committed to work for the transformation of corporate South Africa.”
Mabuza also served as chairman of various companies including casino and hotel owner Sun International, mobile and landline operator Telkom SA and Anheuser Busch InBev’s African business following the merger with SAB Miller in 2018.
He also served as the former group chief executive officer of casino and hotel owner Tsogo Sun Holdings Limited, the president of Business Unity South Africa (BUSA) and chair of Business Leadership South Africa.
BUSA President Sipho Pityana called Mabuza a “powerhouse in the South African economy”, adding in a statement: “I am at a loss for words. The passing of Jabu is tragic, devastating and a great loss for business and our country.”