Eskom remains committed to keeping the lights on, this as more shocking allegations about maladministration and corruption at the state-owned utility have been revealed in a book by former Eskom CEO, André de Ruyter.
De Ruyter’s book speaks of his three years at the helm of Eskom where he discovered how the utility “was crippled by corruption on a staggering scale”.
Penguin Random House South Africa’s website said the book details how De Ruyter took over as Eskom CEO in 2020, and realised why it was considered the “toughest job in South Africa”.
In a post shared on the publisher’s website, it states; “In his explosive memoir, ‘Truth to Power’, De Ruyter candidly reflects on his three years at the power utility, his successes and failures; his reasons for leaving; and his hopes for the future. As someone who is not beholden to the governing party, he is uniquely placed to speak truth to power.”
In an excerpt from the book, De Ruyter recalls watching Range Rovers, BMWs, Mercs and even a Porsche heading for the exit at 3.30pm in the afternoon.
Did we really have that many rich employees? And, if so, why were we paying top dollar for workers who were already packing up an hour or two after lunch?
The flaunting of wealth wasn’t limited to fancy cars. As someone who has spent more hours waiting at international airports than I care to remember, I have acquired a fair idea of the cost of luxury goods. Watching some of my relatively junior colleagues swan around clutching Louis Vuitton handbags, equivalent to a month’s salary, and decked out in branded Hermès dresses, Panerai watches and Christian Louboutin shoes, made me wonder where on earth the money came from. I am not saying everyone driving expensive cars or wearing designer clothing obtained their wealth through illicit means, but considering the opulence displayed by employees of a state-owned enterprise, it was certainly suspicious. Either Eskom employees were living way beyond their means or they had access to funds from other sources.
It didn’t take Sherlock Holmes to figure out what was afoot.
De Ruyter goes on to speak about “several senior Eskom managers were also gifted cattle farmers, registering farms in Limpopo in the names of cousins and other relatives”. He also mentions how “the looting was not confined to the executive floor of Megawatt Park. Once it became clear that it was now open season, many employees ably abetted by contractors and suppliers gorged themselves.”
“Eskom notes the media reports based on the book released by its former Group Chief Executive, André de Ruyter. Eskom will review the contents of the book and comprehensively respond at an appropriate time. We continue to focus on the task at hand to recover generation performance, reduce load shedding and turn the organisation around,” said its interim spokesperson Daphne Mokwena.
∎ Meanwhile, Stage 6 load shedding has been implemented following the breakdown of two generating units.