One story dominated headlines this week – Eskom, South Africa’s state-owned power utility, has finally appointed a new CEO, Andre de Ruyter.
Originally published in the ESI Africa weekly newsletter on 2019/11/20
Within minutes of the announcement, social media stormed ahead with commentary on his appointment, varying from surprise at a virtual unknown in the power sector being placed at the helm, to anger at his lack of engineering and public sector knowledge as well as not being representative of an Affirmative Action candidate. There were some congratulatory words of encouragement.
Officially, it has been a four-month search to replace Phakamani Hadebe, who left the company at the end of July. But, considering that there have been 10 CEOs or acting CEOs in as many years, in reality, it has taken far longer to find a leader.
Only time will tell how long he lasts. South Africa desperately needs someone who will not easily be swayed by political influence and will have the staying power to see the utility stabilise and unbundle (if that is truly the end result).
Read more on my thoughts on the appointment of de Ruyter here (Don’t call for an engineer when a businessman is needed).
We’ve covered the Eskom saga extensively, you can read more here.
Until next week