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First published 2 December 2019.
A lot has been written about how surprising Andre de Ruyter is as the choice of Chief Executive Officer of Eskom. Complaints from the left is that he is white, therefore against the principles of transformation; there was also mention of the fact that he is not an engineer and that he did not make much of a success out of Nampak. Those supporting his appointment point to the fact that 27 black executives who were approached, did not want the job and although it may have been a surprise; De Ruyter may just be the hot ticket that Eskom needs. That De Ruyter is a brave man goes without saying; Eskom is not only so excruciatingly deep in trouble with its R454bn debt burden; any state-owned utility is a devil of a job with all the political difficulties that CEOs have to manage unions, local communities and political parties pulling in different directions. Andrew Kenny writes in the Daily Friend that this may be the reason why De Ruyter is the right guy for the Eskom CEO job as he can detach himself from politics and stick to Eskom’s purpose, and that is “to supply sufficient affordable electricity for South Africa and cover its costs.” – Linda van Tilburg
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