Andre De Ruyter speaks out on graft at Eskom, says politicians using power utility as ‘feeding trough for the ANC’

Outgoing Eskom CEO André de Ruyter. File Photo: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency (ANA)

Outgoing Eskom CEO André de Ruyter. File Photo: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency (ANA)

Published Feb 22, 2023


Pretoria - Outgoing Eskom CEO André de Ruyter says there is rampant corruption engineered by top politicians from the governing party, who are interfering at the ailing power utility.

De Ruyter revealed this on Tuesday during an interview with e.TV’s journalist Annika Larsen, in a show titled My Guest Tonight.

De Ruyter made shocking revelations, saying undisclosed members of the governing party and government at the highest levels are aware of the corruption that is happening at Eskom and also that the utility serves as the ANC’s “feeding trough”.

De Ruyter said he was approached by a minister about a high-level politician who was involved in sinister and potentially criminal activities at the utility.

“I expressed my concern to a senior government minister about attempts, in my view, to water down governance around the $8.5 billion (R154.6bn), that largely through Eskom’s intervention we received at COP26.

“And the response was essentially, ‘you know, you have to be pragmatic in order to pursue the greater good, you have to enable some people to to eat a little bit’,” he said.

When asked about the minister’s response regarding the criminal activities at Eskom, De Ruyter said, “The minister in question looked at a senior official and said, ‘I guess it was inevitable that it would come out anyway.’ This suggests that it was not news…”

Asked whether the said minister was still in the Cabinet, De Ruyter refused to reveal his identity.

De Ruyter also revealed that criminal syndicates in Mpumalanga were stealing around R1 billion a month from Eskom, and nothing much is being done about it.

“However, they did see fit to send one of their agents to COP27 to keep an eye on me…

“Clearly, I am under suspicion of treasonous activity, but the real culprits can act with impunity,” he said.

In a TimesLive report, public enterprises minister Pravin Gordhan slammed de Ruyter for getting involved in politics instead of focusing on ending load-shedding.

“What’s important is that CEOs of any entity, including Eskom, should not be involved in open political debates or assertions, and where they have political views, that is their private business and they are welcome to express those views privately.

“But it is the responsibility of any CEO of any entity, as far as I am concerned, to keep their focus on the job at hand and make sure that is done as proficiently as possible,” Gordhan was quoted as saying.

Meanwhile, the DA has indicated that its currently drawing up an urgent request to Eskom’s management to unveil the identity of the minister mentioned by De Ruyter who is allegedly involved in the “corruption and looting” at Eskom.

“The purpose of this request is to obtain all information and evidence at Eskom’s disposal regarding the alleged ANC kingpin behind the systemic corruption that has brought our country’s electricity supply to its knees,” DA leader John Steenhuisen said in a statement.