Newly appointed state-owned entity Eskom’s CEO Andre de Ruyter must be given an opportunity to do his work and lead the turn around of the embattled company, said expert.

De Ruyter’s appointment was announced late on Monday. The Nampak CEO with over 20 years experience in business will begin in his new position on January 15.

While some expected an engineer to replace Phakamani Hadebe who resigned as Eskom CEO in July, Jannie Rossouw, Head of School of Economic and Business Sciences at the University of the Witwatersrand, does not share the same sentiment.

“In my view Eskom needs someone who can run a business. You can always have someone with engineering skills at a senior level,” he told Xinhua.

The new chief executive would lead the separation of Eskom into three business entities responsible for generation, transmission and distribution in 2020.

“We can only hope the government has the necessary confidence and that politicians will allow him the scope to do the work. The most important aspect of this appointment is that there shouldn’t be any political interference,” he said.

It would not only be the separation of the company that he would lead but also the stabilization of its finances.

The Congress of South African Trade Union said it hoped his appointment would stop the “implosion of the power utility.”

“We expect the new CEO to push for a comprehensive public forensic audit that is going to give all of us a clear picture of what has been going on at the power utility,” said spokesperson Sizwe Pamla.

He said an investigation into private sector contracts collusion and cost inflation should be conducted.

Pamla further said the CEO should make sure citizens of the country had access to reliable energy and stop electricity tariffs. “The new CEO needs to ensure that the power utility can guarantee reliable and affordable electricity to South Africans and the entire economy,” Pamla added. Enditem


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