Eskom chair says outgoing CEO De Ruyter behaved ‘reprehensibly’

Eskom Chairman Mpho Makwana said outgoing Chief Executive Officer Andre de Ruyter behaved “reprehensibly” when he made accusations of theft and corruption within the state-owned electricity company.

Read: Godongwana’s Eskom plans confirm De Ruyter’s claims of entrenched corruption

De Ruyter said in an interview with local broadcaster, aired on Tuesday, that Eskom was losing about R1 billion a month due to graft and theft, with the involvement of people linked to the ruling African National Congress. A day later, Eskom announced that De Ruyter would leave the company with immediate effect, instead of the previously scheduled end date on March 31. He resigned in December.

Read: Eskom loses R1bn a month to corruption: De Ruyter

De Ruyter hadn’t discussed the majority of his allegations with the board, Makwana said in an interview with Radio 702 Thursday. The CEO spent his time “chasing renewables” rather than focusing on fixing existing coal plants, and avoided a performance review by resigning just before it, said Makwana.

Read all our Eskom coverage here.

De Ruyter has led Eskom for a turbulent three years, cracking down on corruption that pushed the company’s debt to more than R400 billion and has led to frequent breakdowns of its coal-fired power plants and consequent power blackouts. South Africa’s finance minister said this week that the state would take over part of Eskom’s debt provided certain conditions were met.

Read: Eskom CEO André de Ruyter leaves with immediate effect

© 2023 Bloomberg