New Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter's appointment met with mixed reactions from political parties

Andre de Ruyter has been appointed Eskom Group chief executive. He begins his duties in January.
Andre de Ruyter has been appointed Eskom Group chief executive. He begins his duties in January.
Image: Geoff Brown

The appointment of Andre de Ruyter as Eskom CEO yesterday is racist, this is according to the EFF.

De Ruyter, currently Nampak CEO, is set to takeover reins at the troubled power utility in January, making him the 10th Eskom CEO in ten years.

The EFF took issue with the appointment of De Ruyter, a white man, saying that it was racist, irrational, shameful and “a clear demonstration of deliberate intent to collapse Eskom to rationalise privatisation of South Africa’s most important strategic asset at the hands of people”.

The party spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi accused the minister of public enterprise Pravin Gordhan of spearheading a “project” set to undermine black executives at state-owned enterprises and Africans in general.

“This racist project does not seek to undermine Africans as far as it concerns management of SOEs, but as important role players in the economy,” he said.

“It seeks to reinforce the falsehood that must be dismissed with the contempt it deserves, the idea that Africans are inherently corrupt.”

However, the ANC welcomed De Ruyter’s appointment, urging South Africans to “come together and play our part in rebuilding Eskom”.

The ANC spokesperson Pule Mabe said the party was satisfied with the process followed in appointing him.

“The ANC commends the board of Eskom and government as the shareholder for the rigour they applied in arriving at Mr De Ruyter’s selection for this onerous role,” he said.

“The ANC wishes Mr De Ruyter well… and assures him of the governing party’s support for the efforts he will lead to set Eskom on a footing that will enable our economy to grow and contribute to energy security in the SADC region.”

The DA’s spokesperson Natasha Mazzone said that he brings wealth of experience at the power utility that provides electricity to over 90% of South Africans.

“It is no secret that Eskom has been brought to its knees by almost a decade of weak leadership and mismanagement,” said Mazzone.

“With experience in both the private and public sectors, Mr de Ruyter has a wealth of experience and we implore upon him to use this experience to set Eskom on the right course to recovery.”

The IFP on the other hand said they were “cautiously optimistic” about De Ruyter’s success in turning around the power utility.

“While the new CEO will only officially start his term in office on January 15, next year, we believe that he should make very good use of the following month in order to familiarise himself with Eskom,” said IFP spokesperson Inkosi Mzamo Buthelezi.

“There is very little time to turn things around at the ailing parastatal. De Ruyter must hit the ground running.”

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