Eskom: Andre de Ruyter's appointment racist and anti-transformation - EFF

Fighters disgusted by continued obliteration of Africans in key SOEs


Monday, 18 November, 2019

The EFF rejects the anti-transformation and racist appointment of Eskom's new CEO, Andre de Ruyter, and we are disgusted by the continued obliteration of Africans in key state-owned enterprises. The appointment of Ruyter is irrational, shameful, a clear demonstration of deliberate intent to collapse Eskom to rationalise privatisation of South Africa's most important strategic assets at the hands of people, and does not come as a surprise.

His appointment is part of a racist projects led by Pravin Gordhan to undermine Africans.

This racist project does not seek to undermine Africans as far as it concerns management of SOE's but as important role players in the economy. It seeks to reinforce the falsehood that Africans cannot manage strategic and complex institutions. The other falsehood that must be dismissed with the contempt it deserves is the idea that Africans are inherently corrupt.

Since his appointment as Minister of Public Enterprises, Pravin has been removing African managers in SOE's in favour of non-African male, some even less qualified or less experienced compared to the removed African managers. Since his appointment, Pravin appointed Daniel du Toit as Denel's Group CEO effective from January 2019, Mohammed Mahomedy was appointed Transnet acting CEO effective from May 2019 and now Ruyter as Eskom's new CEO.

Pravin also illegally imposed Nico Bezuidenhout, whose highest education qualification is matric and he lied about, it as new Mango CEO. The EFF lodged a complaint against Pravin with the Public Protector Advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane, and we are hopeful that the Public Protector will bring the investigation into finality within the shortest possible time to stop the madness that is happening in our SOE's.

President Cyril Ramaphosa together with Pravin are extremely hard to reverse little gains of transformation that were made in SOE's. They surround themselves with white advisers, support staff, CEO's and board despite own government reports that says South Africa is not transforming the economy. The report by the Commission for Employment Equity shows that more than 65% of top management positions are held by whites and Africans stand a better chance of being appointed at senior management in government or SOE's.

Pravin does not believe that Africans can manage and build complex institutions. The only time he is comfortable appointing Africans is when he puts them in a position of permanent juniority and treats them like his lap dogs. Africans who have worked with Pravin before and questioned his decisions, including his alleged corruption, are demonised and accused of incompetence when he is the one who is utterly incompetent and way over his head.

Ruyter's performance as CEO of Nampak is not exceptional and was mired by abnormal losses of revenue, trading, profit, and share prices.

The EFF rejects the appointment of Eskom's new CEO, and call on all stakeholders, workers, trade unions, civil society, and progressive forces to reject the appointment of Ruyter. Eskom needs someone with a balanced combination engineering and business management.

Someone who has run a profitable complex business without experiencing unnecessary abnormal losses and will not be biased to his previous employers who explicitly demonstrated interest in the privatisation of Eskom, preferably an African and a woman.

Statement issued by Economic Freedom Fighters, 18 November 2019