The South African Energy Forum, comprised of experts from Energy, Civil Society and Business Community, has called on Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan to make public all documents and videos related to the interview and assessment process regarding the appointment of the new Eskom CEO.
In an open letter to the Minister, the forum has described the process, which ended in the appointment of Andre De Ruyter, as flawed and questionable.
The letter also questions how a candidate with no energy or utility experience could be appointed.
The forum also expressed concern about De Ruyters’ relationship with Finance Minister Tito Mboweni who is a former Nampak chairperson.
De Ruyters will be leaving his post as Nampak CEO to take over at Eskom on January 15th, 2020.
The Black Management Forum says it’s opposed to the appointment of a white person to head up the country’s struggling power utility.
The forum’s President Andile Nomlala, says, “We are having a government that is running our state and we are entrusting them with our future and they find white males on the side of the road and they make them CEO’s of critical state-owned enterprises and that’s where our issue is at. I’m not a political party. I’m not trying to score cheap political points here. I’m a concerned South African citizen who’s a black professional who goes to school like many other black professionals who qualify.”
De Ruyter has an LLB and an MBA qualification.
Meanwhile, an energy expert says the problem at Eskom is not the revolving door of CEOs but the implementation of an unworkable policy.
Independent Energy Analyst, Dave Nicholls was responding to the appointment of De Ruyter as the new Eskom CEO – making him the 10th CEO in as many years.
Some have criticised the appointment, arguing that De Ruyter didn’t have the necessary technical experience to fix the troubled utility.
Nicholls says De Ruyter has specific challenges, “They can’t all be mistakes and the real problem is if you have 10 in 10 years, it implies the policy they been trying to implement isn’t working. Somehow, he’s gotta come up with a vision which the staff in the company will buy into. It’s all very well to say Eskom staff are all overpaid underworked and should be dismissed, it doesn’t do much for making power and so to get the development of the fleet up. He’s gotta be both aggressive in terms of control but also he’s gotta be getting the people to believe it’s valuable to be there.”
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