EFF Andre de Ruyter Eskom CEO

Photo: City of Ekurhuleni / Twitter

Political reaction to Andre de Ruyter: EFF label new Eskom CEO “racist”

South Africa’s three major political parties have already had their say on new Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter, but the EFF are seeing red on this issue.

EFF Andre de Ruyter Eskom CEO

Photo: City of Ekurhuleni / Twitter

He doesn’t start work until January, and he’s not yet been in the job for 24 hours. But Andre de Ruyter is the name on everyone’s lips, as Eskom ended a five-month search for their new CEO on Monday. Some people are happy, others are ambivalent, and the rest – namely in the EFF – are positively outraged.

Who is Andre de Ruyter?

Andre de Ruyter is currently CEO at Nampak, the largest packaging company in Africa. The executive has been in this role for five years. He has an LLB and MBA, from the University of South Africa and University of Pretoria respectively. He’s also got a business qualification from Nyenrode.

He spent more than 20 years with Sasol in senior management roles, working in their energy and chemicals industries. In terms of degrees and work experience, the new guy certainly has the credentials – even if this job is one of the most unenviable positions in South Africa.

Political parties react to the new Eskom CEO, Andre de Ruyter:

EFF slam appointment as “racist”

The EFF were certainly on-brand when it came to issuing their response to the appointment. The party slammed the incoming CEO as a “racist” choice, and stated that this was the first step towards privatising Eskom. The Red Berets also suggested the role should have gone to a female candidate:

“We reject this anti-transformation and racist appointment. We are disgusted by the obliteration of Africans in key state-owned enterprises. It’s irrational, shameful, and part of a deliberate attempt to collapse Eskom in order to rationalise privatisation. This is part of a racist project lead by Pravin Gordhan to undermine Africans.”

“The EFF rejects the appointment of de Ruyter and we call on all stakeholders to do the same. His performance at Nampak was not exceptional, and was marred by an abnormal loss of revenue. We believe Eskom should be run by either an African person or a woman.”

EFF statement

ANC ask for a fresh start

The ANC were much more mellow in their reaction, praising de Ruyter for accepting such a huge responsibility. Their official statement looked to draw a line under Eskom’s nightmare year:

“We welcome this appointment. The responsibility accepted by Andre de Ruyter is one that must be shared by all South Africans, who depend on electricity for their well-being. While events of the past have justified public criticism of Eskom, the task of renewal and rebuilding must begin with urgency.”

ANC statement

DA vow to keep an eye on Eskom’s new guy

The DA firmly held the middle-ground on this one. Although they offered their congratulations to Andre de Ruyter, they cautiously advised him to stay strong in the face of possible corruption and further mismanagement. Natasha Mazzone said her party trusts the new CEO’s business experience:

“We congratulate Andre de Ruyter on his appointment. It’s no secret that Eskom has been brought to its knees by a decade of mismanagement. With experience in both the private and public sectors, de Ruyter has a wealth of experience and we implore him to use this to set Eskom on the right course to recovery.”

“The DA implores upon Mr. de Ruyter to remain independent and beyond reproach as he takes on his new role. We will keep a close eye on the developments at Eskom under his leadership and hope that he will always act in the best interest of Eskom and the public.”

DA statement