Eskom to get a new CEO soon – one year after Andre de Ruyter left

Electricity Minister Kgosientsho Ramokgopa said Eskom will have a new CEO before the end of 2023 after the utility has been without a permanent chief executive for nearly an entire year.

In a recent interview with SABC, Ramokgopa said, “The CEO appointment should be made before the end of the year.” 

He said the utility’s newly-appointed chair confirmed that the board has complied with all the requirements of the Memorandum of Incorporation and has given Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan three names to choose from.

“At the right time, the minister will bring those names to Cabinet, and the Cabinet will apply its mind,” he said.

This comes after news broke in September of a behind-the-scenes war between the Eskom board and Minister Gordhan about the power utility’s next chief executive.

The Eskom CEO position has been vacant since Andre de Ruyter left abruptly in February 2023 without serving his full notice period.

Calib Cassim has been serving as acting group chief executive, but everyone involved said finding a permanent CEO was a top priority.

In April, Eskom chairperson Mpho Makwana said they had identified five candidates and were at an advanced stage in the shortlisting process for the next CEO.

However, five months later, Cassim is still acting as Eskom’s chief executive without any significant progress on appointing De Ruyter’s replacement.

Last week, News24’s Carol Paton reported that the delay in appointing a new Eskom CEO was down to political infighting.

Paton said the Eskom board provided Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan with a sole recommendation for a new CEO.

However, after weeks of no action, Gordhan informed the board that he would require at least three candidates to be shortlisted.

Gordhan said he vetoed the appointment of Eskom’s recommended candidate because the board had only sent him one name for the post.

According to the Ministry, citing Eskom’s Memorandum of Incorporation, the power utility must provide three choices.

Paton said political infighting and a divided cabinet are most likely behind the delay in appointing a new Eskom CEO.


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