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De Ruyter facing a challenge to turn Eskom around, says Germany's Merkel

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said with its resources, South Africa should be able to benefit from renewable energy.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel addressing the media at the Union Buildings in Pretoria on 6 February 2020. Picture: Sethembiso Zulu\EWN

PRETORIA - German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Thursday said that Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter was faced with the challenge of turning the energy giant into an efficient company that could carry out necessary innovations.

Merkel is on a two-day state visit to South Africa which will wrap up on Friday.

Throughout the day, Merkel was asked how South Africa could tackle its energy crisis effectively and what had worked for her home country.

Speaking through an interpreter at the University of Pretoria, Merkel said South Africa had a difficult starting point because of its dependence on coal.

“I understand about 80% or 90% of your electricity is generated through coal power plants. Most of them, I understand, are not really modern.”

She said with its resources, South Africa should be able to benefit from renewable energy.

“You have a lot of solar, you have a lot of wind. So, you can do a lot there.”

She did, however, add that while Germany was making progress, it had not yet been able to find the perfect energy mix that was sustainable when renewables failed.

WATCH: Germany is SA’s most valued development partner - Ramaphosa