New Eskom boss André de Ruyter faces uphill battle
De Ruyter was appointed late last year - to the dismay of unions which were opposed to his appointment.
He comes into Eskom as it plans to battle it out with the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) in court over the power utility’s demand for a further R69billion, which was deducted by Nersa from its revenue for the 2019/20 financial year.
Labour federation Cosatu, whose unions include the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), has called for Nersa to reject the request and fight any court battle Eskom, under the leadership of De Ruyter, might wage.
The federation said the requested tariff hikes by Eskom were going to punish South African consumers and collapse the economy. Cosatu national spokesperson Sizwe Pamla said Eskom’s management was trying to outsource its incompetency with its court bid.
“Eskom should be developing plans to recover the looted monies and collecting what is owed to it by state-owned entities, government departments, municipalities and private companies who are rigging the electricity system and stealing from Eskom. This includes reducing the tariffs charged by coal suppliers and the independent power producers (IPPs) to market-related levels,” Pamla said.
Eskom said Nersa had wrongly deducted the R69bn provided by the government as shareholder support.
Eskom denied claims that it was applying for a further R18bn from Nersa for performance bonuses.