Business: Eskom’s new CEO plans to fix South Africa’s utility

Last updated on September 11th, 2021 at 08:22 am

Andre de Ruyter knew properly the adversity he confronted at South Africa’s strength monopoly — a state-owned wreck hollowed out with the aid of corruption that struggles to hold the lights on, pay its bills and play ball with a unionized workforce.

“I don’t suppose I was once under any illusion that this wasn’t going to be a very challenging job,” De Ruyter stated in an interview 9 months into his tenure as chief government officer of Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd.

So when De Ruyter bought to work as the 13th Eskom CEO in the past decade, he went after one foolproof success.

He ordered up a new paint job for the primary board room at Megawatt Park, the utility’s brutalist-style headquarters in suburban Johannesburg.

“It was once soiled and it regarded shoddy,” he says. “I’m meticulous. I want to do things right.”

The 52-year-old private-sector veteran is assured his corporate approach, like a merit-based gadget for managers and an intolerance for theft, are making headway.

The intention is to turn the flailing coal-burning massive into a green-power business with a manageable debt load that sustains Africa’s most-advanced economy.

“De Ruyter has surprised critics due to his tenacity,” stated Darias Jonker, a director at the Eurasia Group in London.

“He has stayed the path regardless of the frustrations and gridlock that many observers concept would make him go away Eskom by using this time.”