More reactions as Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter calls it quits

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Eskom Chief Executive Officer Andre de Ruyter has reportedly resigned as the power utility’s Chief Executive. This comes on the back of continued and prolonged rolling blackouts.

De Ruyter’s resignation comes as South Africa faces an energy crisis that has culminated in rolling blackouts reaching Stage 6 load shedding. Eskom has repeatedly blamed the blackouts on the numerous breakdowns of its aging coal fleet and maintenance backlogs.

There have been growing calls for de Ruyter to step down amid the rolling blackouts. He was appointed Eskom CEO in December 2019.

‘Mantashe’s relentless campaign’

In a statement by Democratic Alliance DA Shadow Minister of Public Enterprises, Ghaleb Cachalia says André de Ruyter’s apparent sudden resignation as the CEO of Eskom is a reflection of “Gwede Mantashe’s relentless campaign against a man who despite having one hand tied behind his back as he battled to get the utility on track – fighting corruption, debilitating policies and political interference – conducted a dutiful and responsible effort at the discharging of his duties.

“Clearly his minister, Pravin Gordhan is powerless in the face of Mantashe and many in the RET faction who have been baying for his blood.”

Eskom’s CEO André de Ruyter’s resignation: Tshepo Mongoai

‘Thinly-veiled resignation’ 

The DA condemns this “thinly-veiled resignation” and repeats its call for bold emergency action to be taken to fix the ever-increasing problem of load shedding.

It’s time for a ring-fenced state of disaster to be declared around Eskom, governed independently by a panel of experts that ideally should include the former CEO who knows more than most what bedevils Eskom, says DA in a statement.

Numsa welcomes the resignation

The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) has welcomed De Ruyter’s resignation. Numsa spokesperson Phakamile Hlubi says the union now looks forward to the resignation of Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan.

“We are overjoyed at the news that the worst CEO in the history of Eskom’s existence, has finally decided to do the right thing and resign. When Andre De Ruyter started at Eskom, he claimed he could end load shedding in 18 months. Unfortunately, we have experienced the worst load shedding in the history of Eskom. De Ruyter’s gross incompetence is the reason we have such shockingly high levels of rolling blackouts. Furthermore, if we really want to see a difference at Eskom and at all other State Owned Entities, Pravin Gordhan must do the nation a favour and also resign.”

‘Major blow … not surprising’

Business Unity South Africa (BUSA) says the resignation of Andre De Ruyter is a major blow to the efforts to address the energy crisis facing the country.

The business formation says the decision is not surprising, following growing calls for de Ruyter to resign.

 Full statement: Resignation of Eskom CEO: