- Eskom Group chief executive officer Andre de Ruyter has resigned.
- The resignation will see the CEO leave the utility come 31st March 2023.
- His resignation is amid consistent criticism of the many failings of Eskom and attacks from government.
South Africans had been waiting for some sort of update from Eskom regarding the status of loadshedding since Saturday. As it turned out, there were other concerns within the power utility.
While loadshedding is important and needs to be addressed promptly, Eskom now needs to find itself a new group chief executive officer. This is because Andre de Ruyter has tendered his resignation.
The outgoing CEO will only officially vacate the position on 31st March 2023. This is more than the required 30-days notice and this extension is in place to insure “continuity” at Eskom. The search for a replacement is being undertaken with a matter of urgency according to Eskom Board Chairperson, Mpho Makwana.
“It has been an honour and privilege to serve Eskom and South Africa. I wish all the hard-working people of Eskom well,” De Ruyter said in a statement.
The CEO is exiting the firm amid harsh criticism from the public and political attacks.
Last month, Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy Gwede Mantashe slammed Eskom for failing to address loadshedding going so far as to accuse the utility of agitating for an overthrow of the state.
“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,” Mantashe said.
Following this criticism, neither President Cyril Ramaphosa nor Minister of Public Enterprises Pravin Gordhan offered words of support to Eskom.
One who did support the now outgoing earlier this week CEO is Democratic Alliance leader John Steenhuisen.
“This is not Eskom’s fault, it’s not Andre de Ruyter’s fault. It’s your and your party’s failure of policy and leadership over two decades to get on top of this issue. Let me remind you, Mr President, it was you in 2015 who told us as South Africans that within 18 months to two years we would forget that the problems within Eskom and load shedding ever happened,” said the DA leader.
Even before De Ruyter took over the reins at Eskom he was being lambasted. The performance, or rather lack thereof, at Nampak under De Ruyter’s tenure was brought into question no sooner than he had taken the Eskom position.
The value of the packaging manufacturer’s business plummeted while De Ruyter was at the helm. This was influenced by outside factors of course and while many argue the situation would’ve been worse without the CEO, others argue the opposite.
Ironically, no sooner had the announcement that de Ruyter was resigning come down the line than loadshedding moved from Stage 5 to Stage 4.
Loadshedding will be reduced to Stage 4 from 05:00 on Thursday morning until 05:00 on Sunday morning pic.twitter.com/gwGOQgiJ3p
— Eskom Hld SOC Ltd (@Eskom_SA) December 14, 2022
It remains to be seen who will replace de Ruyter in March but we suspect that the search will only commence in earnest in the new year.
It has been a rough few years for De Ruyter and Eskom, but perhaps some fresh eyes can help address the utility’s many long-standing problems.