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Eskom CEO André de Ruyter resigns

Eskom CEO André de Ruyter resigns
Andre de Ruyter. (Photo: Gallo Images / Rapport / Deon Raath)

André de Ruyter, Eskom CEO, has handed in his resignation letter to the board of the power utility. The news follows a particularly bad bout of load shedding and escalating attacks from Minerals and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe, among others.

Eskom Group Chief Executive André de Ruyter has called it quits after a tumultuous period as head of South Africa’s power utility. 

According to a breaking news report in News24, De Ruyter “notified board chairperson Mpho Makwana of his decision earlier in the week” who then informed Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan. Makwana is expected to take over from De Ruyter while a replacement is sought. 

At the time of writing, De Ruyter had not responded to Daily Maverick queries but the parastatals chair said a statement was being prepared.

South Africa is currently experiencing Stage 5 rolling blackouts after power station breakdowns and less money to buy diesel force Eskom to escalate rolling blackouts to Stage 6 last week.

Commenting on the development, Chris Yelland, energy analyst and managing director at EE Business Intelligence, told Daily Maverick that “without a single word of support from the President, the finance minster, the DPE minister and the Eskom board chairman after the attack by Mantashe accusing André de Ruyter of treason, I would expect nothing different except that De Ruyter should resign in disgust”. 

Yelland was referring to recent comments made by Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe who, at the signing of power purchase agreements with independent power producers, said: “Eskom, by not attending to load shedding, is agitating for the overthrow of the state.

Gwede Mantashe has harsh words for Eskom as additional 1,759MW of renewables signed up

“We are from the period of State Capture, but load shedding is becoming worse than State Capture,” said the minister, adding that the levels of crime and sabotage were limiting economic growth. 

De Ruyter has previously said that corruption, mismanagement, and lack of skills, maintenance and sabotage, have brought the power utility to its current state. The year 2022 has also seen the worst levels of load shedding. He also said that the lack of capacity left the utility’s management with little room to do the necessary work to end the load shedding. 

“Any other government can be overthrown for this level of load shedding. Eskom, by not attending to load shedding, is agitating for the overthrow of the state. If it is not addressed, then the state will be failing to do what it needs to do … load shedding is urgent; it must be attended to sooner than later,” said Mantashe.  

Gwede Mantashe’s anti-Eskom push could shove SA into oblivion

“We’re engaging with Eskom more aggressively and telling them to get investment into the grid as quickly as possible … energy is always used as a factor that attracts investment into the economy.” DM

This is a developing story

Absa OBP

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  • Hermann Funk says:

    I was surprised that de Ruyter did not step down sooner. With friends like Mantashe who needs enemies?

  • Lindi Van Niekerk says:

    I’m mortified at this news! There seems to be absolutely no understanding of the challenges de Ruyter has had to contend with, the shambles he took over and the absolute lack of support from government. I’d love to see how the ANC cronies manage the loadshedding crisis. If they do a better job than de Ruyter I will humbly eat my words!

    • Elmari Dell says:

      After listening to Andre de Ruyter at the Daily Maverick’s “The Gathering 2022”, I actually felt hopeful for this country the first time, and now this. The ANC simply cannot think long-term or think country first. They must fill their pockets now.

  • Peter Dexter says:

    Let’s see who Mantashe puts in his place. That should be interesting

    • Gordon Holtmann says:

      It is important only that Mantashe should go. To make this disaster a political football is about as cynical and anti- South African as you can be. Lack of electrical power is fundamentally destructive of our society. Someone in power needs to take that on board.

  • christo o says:

    It is sometimes said that you judge a turnaround CEO by the results his successor achieves. So thank you Mr de Ruyter for the hard work you and your team have done to start turning this massive behemoth around and pointing it in the right direction. Lets hope that the Asshats-iN-Charge does not destroy the seeds of renewal you have planted, and that we can look back in 2028 and see the fruits of your labour.

  • James Francis says:

    They should give Mantashe the job. Put up or shut up.

  • Jane Crankshaw says:

    All that lovely Lolly that Mantashe can now get his hands on….and as for Cyril – grow some balls man! Thank you Mr De Ruyter for giving it a shot! If we do emerge from this mess it will be thanks to you and your team for the ground work you have done and battling against all odds to do so.

    • Jane Crankshaw says:

      And another thing….inspite of the hideous time Mr De Ruyter has had to endure as he battled to save Eskom, he has managed to retain his good looks! LOL!

  • Josie Hill says:

    This news left me shattered. The amount of #$%^ that Andre had to deal with was soul-destroying. I totally understand why he would resign. The light has gone out of my hope.

  • Robyn Clay Clay says:

    I hope that Mr. de Ruyter reads these comments and hears from all of us how saddened we all are at this news. But we are also so very grateful for all he achieved against odds which many of us can not even imagine. You are a South African Hero Mr. de Ruyter. I pray that you are now free to explore the energy alternatives in a different capacity without having to deal with nefarious, corrupt forces which made your job at ESKOM impossible.

  • Ou Soutie says:

    Well done, de Ruyter!

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