Eskom CEO André de Ruyter resigns
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.
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.
“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.
“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