Ramaphosa: De Ruyter appointment as Eskom CEO a step towards stability

The appointment of Andre de Ruyter has received mixed reactions, including criticism that it was anti-transformation.

Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter. Picture: nampak.com

JOHANNESBURG - President Cyril Ramaphosa on Thursday said the appointment of a new Eskom group CEO was an important step towards stability at the utility.

The appointment of Andre de Ruyter has received mixed reactions, including criticism that it is anti-transformation.

But Ramaphosa assured the Black Business Council in a meeting in Pretoria that energy security remained one of his priorities.

He said the meeting should chart the way for more collaboration in economic stability and job creation.

And while the recent South Africa and Africa investment drives had attracted international investment, they also showed that local business confidence was growing.

"And in this regard, energy security is critical if local industries and if our economy indeed is to flourish. The Eskom board, working together with government continues to pursue turnaround plans to address its huge debt, its liquidity problems and operation challenges.”

Meanwhile, Minister in Presidency Jackson Mthembu said De Ruyter's appointment was an important first step in strengthening Eskom to ensure stable electricity supply and that he brought a range of skills.

β€œHe brings to the position significant international experience, extensive experience dealing with government and reenactors in a variety of jurisdictions. He brings turnaround skill across cost-cutting, margin improvement and organisational restructuring.”

Mthembu was reporting back on the outcomes of Wednesday's Cabinet meeting where Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan briefed his colleagues on the strike at South African Airways.

Mthembu said while workers have the right to withhold their labour it should not affect the rights of others.