Andre de Ruyter Eskom SONA 2020

Photo: Luke Daniel / TheSouthAfrican

SONA 2020: Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter heckled on red carpet

It’s the first Andre de Ruyter has attended SONA as Eskom CEO – he probably should have stayed in the shadows… like the rest of us do, most days.

Andre de Ruyter Eskom SONA 2020

Photo: Luke Daniel / TheSouthAfrican

Eish, talk about a tough crowd. Newly appointed Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter might have been better off shutting himself in a dark room (well, we don’t have a choice some days) instead of attending SONA 2020, where he ended up copping a fair bit of flak from people in the crowd.

Who is Andre de Ruyter?

Of course, being in charge of the most cost-unfriendly state-owned entity in South Africa comes with its burdens. He probably wasn’t even grey before he assumed his new duties at the end of December. But 2020 has been a disastrous period for Eskom so far.

We have only just emerged from two consecutive weeks of load shedding. The firm has edged closer towards entertaining elements privatisation and their R450 billion debt bill isn’t getting any smaller.

Eskom boss greets a tough crowd at SONA 2020

This marks Andre de Ruyter’s first major public appearance while at the helm of Eskom, and he sure found out what he was up against. Of course, most of the ribbing was in good nature – people were asking him when the lights were going out, and bantering him lightly. But no-one wants to be known as “Mr Load Shedding”, do they? Sounds like a science teacher obsessed with electricity:

SONA 2020: Power outages reported in Gauteng

There was no forecast load shedding for Thursday 13 February. But some people in Gauteng have been subject to power outages today. People in Kyalami have been complaining about their inability to watch SONA 2020 due to an unscheduled blackout. Eskom have since confirmed this is due to a network fault: