Finally! New Eskom CEO appointed

November 18th, 2019, Published in Articles: EE Publishers, Articles: Energize

Andre de Ruyter

The Department of Public Enterprises has announced that Andre de Ruyter, the CEO of Nampak has been appointed CEO of Eskom. The Department says he will take up his new position on 15 January 2020. Apparently, de Ruyter has a lot of experience in energy-related business having worked at Sasol for over 20 years.

Click here for Minister Gordhan’s official announcement

Eskom has been without a permanent chief executive since Phakamani Hadebe stepped down in July, citing ill-health. Jabu Mabuza, the power utility’s chairman, stood in as acting CEO while the minister of public enterprises, Pravin Gordhan looked for a replacement for Hadebe. As it turned out however, the minister instructed Mabuza to identify suitable candidates and to send him a shortlist from which he, Gordhan, could choose. It is unknown whether de Ruyter was on Mabuza’s list.

Earlier, it was speculated that Andy Calitz would be appointed as the incoming Eskom CEO. Calitz is said to have many year’s experience in the power sector.

De Ruyter will inherit an organisation which is burdened by excessive debt, ageing and unreliable generating assets (including Eskom’s disastrous new-build projects Kusile and Medupi, neither of which are complete or working according to spec), decreasing demand for electricity and tens of billions of rand in overdue and probably unrecoverable, arrear debt.

The new CEO will be responsible, among other things, to turn the loss-making power utility into what it was before: a well-run, proudly South African success story and the envy of the world. To achieve this, he will need to oversee the division of Eskom into three operating units: generation, transmission and distribution under a state-owned holding company. This action is likely to be highly contentious as it will be opposed by powerful labour unions which see it as a precursor to privatisation which could result in job losses.

We wish him every success in his new role.

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