Newly-appointed Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter. Picture: Supplied
Newly-appointed Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter. Picture: Supplied

Desperate need for new leadership may see de Ruyter at Eskom before year-end

By Staff Reporter Time of article published Dec 17, 2019

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Minister of Public Enterprises, Pravin Gordhan, has been asked to negotiate with incoming Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter to begin his tenure earlier than expected. 

This is according to Minister in the Presidency Jackson Mthembu, who briefed the media at a post Cabinet meeting on Tuesday. 

De Ruyter was expected to begin at Eskom in mid-January 2020, but has been asked to come in and take the helm at failing utility company as soon as possible. 

Last week's implementation of unprecedented stage 6 load shedding across South Africa led to a number of major decisions being made. This included President Cyril Ramaphosa immediately returning to SA from his official trip to Egypt. 

Mthembu told reporters that de Ruyter would hopefully start at Eskom before January 2020. 

 “Together with his team, he will be able to deal with the concerning issues at Eskom, including governance, financial management and improvement of operations at Eskom," Mthembu said. 

“We would like the new CEO to start as soon as possible. That is the mandate that Cabinet has given to the minister of public enterprises.”

WILL THERE BE LOADSHEDDING THIS WEEK? 

No loadshedding was expected on Tuesday and the probability of scheduled power cuts was low for the rest of the week, Eskom said.

''Eskom will continue to use emergency reserves to supplement capacity if necessary over this period," the power utility said. 

It added that its technical teams would continue to work throughout the Christmas holidays to reduce the magnitude of unplanned breakdowns to below 9,500 megawatt.

Consumers should reduce consumption to help lower the need for load-shedding, Eskom added.

Last week Friday, the government asked industry for the cheapest and quickest options to ease a power crunch, as cabinet held an emergency meeting to try and resolve a crisis threatening growth in Africa's most industrialised economy.

President Ramaphosa called the meeting after Eskom implemented the most extensive power cuts in more than a decade earlier this week, disrupting supply to businesses and households.

Eskom is choking under a massive R450 billion debt burden and struggles to meet demand because its creaking coal-fired power stations haven't been maintained properly.

It says the country desperately needs an additional 5,000 megawatts (MW) of generating capacity.

BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE, African News Agency and REUTERS 

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