Pressure mounts on Gordhan to fire Eskom CEO

Members of the ANC national executive committee (NEC) have called for Eskom CEO André de Ruyter to be fired, reports the Sunday Times.

The calls were reportedly led by ANC Limpopo provincial secretary Reuben Madadzhe, and followed the implementation of stage 6 load-shedding this week.

Minister of public enterprises Pravin Gordhan had reportedly presented the energy crisis plans to end load-shedding, but was met with a mixed response.

“We wanted them to come with a solid solution,” an NEC member — who asked not to be named — told the Sunday Times.

“From what we have had from De Ruyter, there is no solution. Every time he talks, he threatens us about stage 8. That is not a solution.”

Earlier this week, Mineral Resources and Energy minister Gwede Mantashe also accused Eskom of “actively agitating for the overthrow of the state” through intense power cuts.

He claimed Eskom simply had to fix its operational problems, which he believes could be done with six months of focused maintenance.

Eskom CEO André de Ruyter with President Cyril Ramaphosa during a guided tour of Tutuka power station in 2022. Public enterprises minister Pravin Gordhan and energy minister Gwede Mantashe are standing behind them.

Gordhan is said to be losing patience with the Eskom executives, and insiders claim that following discussions between the government and these executives, it is up to the board to decide on De Ruyter’s future.

This follows a statement earlier this week where Gordhan called on the Eskom board to “act with urgency” regarding how load-shedding is handled — particularly in the wake of stage 6 load-shedding.

“I met with the board of Eskom yesterday. I have directed them to meet and act with a great sense of urgency to ensure that the management of Eskom gets the country out of level 6 load shedding with immediate effect,” Gordhan said.

“Power cuts are having a devastating effect on households and livelihoods, investment and the economic climate. This is totally unacceptable. The frequency of breakdowns is certainly attributable to some element of malfunctioning within the Eskom system and possibly sabotage as well.”

Gordhan said Eskom needs to improve its security to reduce the effects of criminality at its power stations.

“We have had to call on law enforcement agencies to show a stronger presence at all Eskom power stations,” said Gordhan.

“Those who are involved in nefarious activities, beware. We will not tolerate any activities whose purpose is not the national interest.”

Now read: Eskom must get out of stage 6 load-shedding “with immediate effect” — Gordhan

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Pressure mounts on Gordhan to fire Eskom CEO