Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe Shades Eskom CEO Andre De Ruyter, Says He Lacks Skills to Fix Power Utility

Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe Shades Eskom CEO Andre De Ruyter, Says He Lacks Skills to Fix Power Utility

  • Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe does not believe that Eskom has the right leadership
  • According to Mantashe, Eskom's CEO has the technical skills to fix the problems at the power utility
  • Some South Africans agree with Mantashe and says De Ruyter is incompetent to lead

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JOHANNESBURG - Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy Gwede Mantashe recently shaded Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter. Mantashe stated that he does not believe that the state-owned power utility head is the right man to bring Eskom to its former glory.

Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe says Andre de Ruyter can't fix Eskom
Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy Gwede Mantashe says a skills deficit exists in Eskom's executive team. Images: Waldo Swiegers & GCIS/Flickr
Source: Getty Images

Mantashe stated that Eskom needs a "fixer", and De Ruyter does not have the necessary skill set to fix Eskom's many problems.

The African National Congress national chairperson made these remarks in an interview with the Mail & Guardian. De Ruyter holds several qualifications, including a Bachelor of Law degree from Unisa and a Master of Business Administration from a Netherlands university.

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Mantashe stated De Ruyter's skill set is a mismatch for Eskom because the power utility needs someone with technical skills to run it. He also highlighted that there is a huge difference in how De Ruyter speaks about the issues at Eskom compared to COO Jan Oberholzer since Oberholzer is an engineer, reports Fin24.

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"If you go to Eskom [and] you talk to the chief executive, at a theoretical level, it's good. But when you talk to the chief operating officer, who is an engineer, you feel the difference because that engineer understands issues, " said Mantashe.

Mantashe added that Oberholzer has a better understanding of loadshedding and how to deal with it. The ANC chairperson also attacked the Eskom board for also not having an engineer or an accountant.

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He believes that they would be able to understand the debt issues Eskom faces and the operational challenges. Mantahse added that the government should look into the skills gap in Eskom's executive team.

South Africans weigh in

Some South Africans seem to agree with Mantashe's statement and believe that De Ruyter is not fixing Eskom, while others say the Eskom CEO was hired to take the fall for the failures at the power utility.

Here are some comments:

@ZemTimbela said:

"But what he said about De Rutyer is true. Without involving ANC politics and their corruption, he is correct. Gwede said there are enough coal and electricity reserves at ESKOM. He does not understand this loadshedding."


"De Ruyter was only ever employed to be the fall guy. The terminal damage was inflicted long before De Ruyter was employed."

@robbienienaber said:

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"Maybe, maybe not… I don’t know for sure. But I can promise you there is equal doubt about your competency Mr Manatshe, as well as the whole of the ANC’s competency… so where does that leave the rest of South Africa…?"

@gmalau32 said:

"HE IS CORRECT. How can a guy who collapses SAS and Nampak fix Eskom, a highly technical business."

President Cyril Ramaphosa says ANC plans to establish another state-owned power utility, SA outraged

Briefly News previously reported that President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that the African National Congress has proposed the establishment of another state-owned power utility. He was addressing the South African Communist Party’s congress when he made the announcement.

Ramaphosa said the second entity would assist in reducing the risks attached to Eskom. According to News24, Ramaphosa said the power utility has been operating as a monopoly for over 100 years.

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He said having one company taking up the role of providing energy to the entire country poses a great risk. Ramaphosa added that if Eskom fails, it becomes a peculiar failure for the entire country.

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Source: Briefly News

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