Nampak’s chief executive Andre de Ruyter has been appointed as the new group CEO of struggling state-owned power utility Eskom.Photo: Supplied

CAPE TOWN – Nampak’s chief executive Andre de Ruyter has been appointed as the new Group CEO of struggling state-owned power utility Eskom, the Ministry of Public Enterprises announced on Monday.

De Ruyter will leave his post at packaging group Nampak and is set to commence his role at Eskom on January 15, the ministry said in a statement.

“Pursuant to the departure of the former group chief executive Phakamani Hadebe at the end of July 2019, the board set out to commence the recruitment process to find a replacement,” reads the statement.

Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan said he was pleased to announce Andre de Ruyter as the new group CEO. A holder of various qualifications, including an LLB and MBA. The Pretoria-born De Ruyter is an accomplished CEO with deep and wide experiences in creating and managing highly-performing businesses.

He spent more than 20 years with petrochemicals group Sasol in a number of senior management roles that gave him significant global exposure in the energy and chemicals industries. His portfolio included overseeing work in the US, Nigeria, Angola, Mozambique, Germany and China.

“I would like to thank Mr de Ruyter for not only accepting this position at a difficult time for eskom, but, given Eskom current financial situation, also agreeing to a lower compensation package than the position currently pays,” said Gordhan in a statement.

De Ruyter will work with the Eskom board, management and the government to spearhead the re-organisation of Eskom, which includes the separation of Eskom into three entities: generation, transmission and distribution, as well as the creation of Eskom Holdings.

“I am confident that he will lead a committed and capable management team that will work with him and the board to take Eskom forward. I would like to thank the whole leadership team, including the board and management, for holding fort in these difficult and challenging times.

“I am grateful to the board of Nampak for agreeing to release Mr Ruyter. To us, this again is a show of partnership approach between all stakeholders to make any and every contribution towards a successful and sustainable turnaround of Eskom. Solving our current problems as a nation indeed does require a partnership approach and I am more than encouraged that we are all working as partners with everyone doing their part to help,” said Gordhan.

The minister said the government was working to bring back the engineering skills and experience of competent and ethical professionals, that had been lost to Eskom over the years due to state capture and other incidents of malfeasance.