De Ruyter hits back at critics ‘who style themselves as energy experts’


Eskom CEO André de Ruyter hit back at his critics who have been calling for his resignation after continuous rounds of load shedding.

Speaking to eNCA on Tuesday, De Ruyter said the current challenges at Eskom were a direct result of issues such as corruption.

“I think to expect me to turn this ship around that’s been mismanaged over the past 15 years, longer than that even, when we’ve had load shedding for the past 15 years, when we have seen an organisation that’s been hollowed out by corruption.

“To fight against corruption with one hand tied behind my back because we don’t get the support from both law enforcement and prosecuting authorities,” he said.

‘Armchair critics’

The Eskom CEO indicated that he would welcome any assistance, further saying his job was far more challenging than the pubic thinks.

“I would be the first guy to say I’ll merrily step back if I feel I’m not making a dent in it [or] if there is someone else with the credentials to step into my shoes who can do a better job, I would welcome [their] offer of assistance immediately, but that person hasn’t yet stepped forward.

“I know there are many armchair critics who style themselves as energy experts but, with respect, I don’t think they have the full appreciation of the challenge the job entails,” De Ruyter said.

ALSO READ: Cosatu doesn’t support calls for De Ruyter’s axing over Eskom woes, for now

He reiterated that he will not voluntarily resign from Eskom.

“So for the moment as many times as I have said before if the board thinks I’m no longer doing a good job then it’s up to them to fire me and I’m more than happy to go. I’m definitely not in the job for the money,” he said.

Du Ruyter said he understood the frustration of South Africans over the continuous blackouts.

“Personally, I am completely sick and tired of walking into any social gathering and hearing 10 minutes of load shedding jokes before people move on to the performance of various international sports teams. So I take no pleasure in it,” he added.

‘Fall guy’

Eskom board member Busisiwe Mavuso blamed the ANC for the power utility’s problems.

Mavuso had walked out of a meeting with Parliament’s standing committee on public accounts (Scopa) in April after a heated exchange with the committee’s chairperson Mkhuleko Hlengwa.

She had defended De Ruyter, saying the CEO would not be the “fall guy” for the mess at Eskom and attributed the blame to the ANC-led government.

READ MORE: SA Energy Forum want Busi Mavuso, Eskom board to go back to Scopa to account

The Eskom board member, who is also the CEO of Business Leadership South Africa (BLSA), was responding to a question from MPs after their oversight visit to inspect Eskom’s operations.

Mavuso doubled down on her views after penning an opinion piece arguing that the reports of the Commission of Inquiry into Allegations of State Capture show how cadre deployment ruined South Africa.

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