Eskom CEO André de Ruyter resigned because “it’s a tough job”, President Cyril Ramaphosa said, stressing that the government has a “cohesive” plan to resolve the national power shortage.
Ramaphosa said the government is not “sleeping on the job” with regard to the worst ever power cuts South Africa has experienced, and he has spoken to his ministers about the need for a uniform approach to the problem.
Ramaphosa spoke at a press event in Johannesburg on Monday.
He gave no indication of when a new CEO will be appointed or when blackouts will ease.
In early December, energy minister Gwede Mantashe launched a broadside against De Ruyter, accusing Eskom of “actively agitating for the overthrow of the state” by not solving the load shedding crisis. Mantashe’s accusations, and the fact that Ramaphosa didn’t come to De Ruyter’s defence, is believed to have played a major role in the chief executive’s decision to resign.
Read: Eskom CEO De Ruyter poisoned with cyanide: report
Mantashe, whose department is responsible for programmes to introduce new electricity generation capacity in South Africa, was, however, criticised for his comments by his cabinet colleague, public enterprises minister Pravin Gordhan, following De Ruyter’s resignation.
Gordhan made it clear that he felt it was unacceptable to blame the outgoing Eskom CEO for load shedding, which is a longstanding problem. — (c) 2023 Bloomberg LP, with additional reporting (c) 2023 NewsCentral Media