Eskom. Photo: File

Load shedding: EFF calls for De Ruyter to be replaced by ‘competent African executives’

The EFF says it refuses to “sit back and watch while a white male threatens the country’s energy security”.


Eskom. Photo: File

The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) on Thursday, 18 March 2021 added their voice to the load shedding discourse, noting the comments by Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter about SA’s energy crisis.

The party said De Ruyter’s admission is a “clear indication that he was never equal to the task of turning around the power utility and resolving” the load shedding dilemma. We’ve included a link to the statement below.

The EFF pointed out that despite De Ruyter’s two-year tenure as Eskom CEO, the shortfall and “the continued breakdowns […] was a shameful attempt to collapse Eskom to rationalise its privatisation”.

“Despite De Ruyter being the least technically qualified, his appointment to the power utility is consistent with Pravin Gordhan continued pushing of African managers in SEO’s in favour of the incompetent white male to reinforce the falsehood that Africans cannot manage strategic and complex institutions”.

The party also pointed out that South Africa has been in lockdown for almost a year, “which has come with less demand on electricity than would have been the case without lockdown.

A recent report by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) painted a bleak picture of the state of South Africa’s power utility. The study showed that South Africans experienced load shedding for nearly 10% of the year.

Despite last year being unlike anything we’ve endured before, we put up with 859 hours of load shedding. Of that, 63% of last year’s load shedding happened before the lockdown even started.

The EFF said, “this should be a clear indication to the Board that those in Eskom’s management have very little capacity to turn things around”. The party also claims that Eskom is deliberately being sabotaged.

The deliberate sabotage of Eskom to undermine its power generation capacity is part of the growing pressures from capitalists for Eskom to be sold and enter into irrational agreements with Independent Power Producers despite carrying no foreseeable capacity to provide adequate and dependable electricity for all South Africans”.

The EFF says it refuses to “sit back and watch while a white male threatens the country’s energy security and fast track the collapse of Eskom so that he can hand it over to his white friends”.

The party now demands that “all purchase agreements entered with IPPs be immediately discontinued as they add no significant value to South Africa’s electricity needs. Read the full statement here.

The part also calls on the Eskom board, Gordhan and De Ruyter to step down “and be replaced with competent African executives and leadership” to move Eskom forward.

READ: Will South Africa face five more years of load shedding? Eskom responds