The Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) notes the resignation, announced earlier today, of Eskom Group Chief Executive, André de Ruyter.
We have long been calling for drastic changes at the beleaguered power utility, and, among others, went on the record in September to state that “based on Eskom’s pitiful track record, [we have] no confidence in the Eskom Board, Executive, or CEO”. The IFP further stated “those currently at the helm of Eskom are not fit for purpose.”
The IFP therefore welcomes De Ruyter’s resignation: what we hope will be the first of many changes at Eskom.
Minister Gordhan has also lost the IFP’s vote of confidence, as Eskom’s downward spiral has only accelerated under his watch.
As we have suggested before, Eskom – and other failing SOEs – should be removed from the Department of Public Enterprises’ portfolio and allocated to their line-function departments. In Eskom’s case, this would mean a shift to the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy, where there is institutional knowledge and expertise in relation to the energy sector.
We further repeat our call for a new leadership collective with fresh energy and the relevant engineering skills, knowledge, and expertise, as well for much-needed consequence management. If there are no results, there must be consequences.
The country cannot be allowed to languish in the dark, as the economy crumbles, while Eskom’s executive management are given opportunity upon opportunity, and the SOE bailout after bailout, without any tangible improvements to the ever-worsening energy crisis.
De Ruyter’s replacement will have to hit the ground running in order to bring about the turnaround South Africa so desperately needs.
The IFP further calls on government to remove the red tape and any other impediments that might hamper independent power producers’ (IPPs) ability to supplement the existing power grid and provide short-term relief while the long-term solutions are rolled out.
Hon. Mkhuleko Hlengwa MP
IFP National Spokesperson
071 111 0539