'I am sick of hearing load-shedding jokes': Eskom CEO slams 'armchair critics'

26 May 2022 - 12:30
By Unathi Nkanjeni
Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter slams
Image: Freddy Mavunda Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter slams "armchair critics". File photo.

Eskom CEO Andre De Ruyter has hit back at “armchair critics” calling for him to resign as load-shedding continues, saying he will only do so if the utility's board asks him to.

Over the past few weeks, the head of the embattled power utility has been criticised for Eskom's management and the constant blackouts.

By May 10, Eskom had implemented 32 days of load-shedding this year compared with 26 days over the same period last year.

Speaking on eNCA, De Ruyter said he would not be blamed for a “ship that’s been mismanaged over the past 15 years” and “hollowed out by corruption”.

“I'd be the first to say I’ll merrily step back if I feel I’m not making a dent in it, or if there is someone else with the credentials to step into my shoes who can do a better job. I would welcome their offer of assistance immediately, but that person hasn’t yet stepped forward.

“I know there are many armchair critics who delight in being very clever and style themselves as energy experts, but, with respect, I don’t think they have the full appreciation of the challenge the job entails.”.

De Ruyter said he understood the frustration of many over load-shedding.

“Personally, I am sick and tired of walking into any social gathering and hearing 10 minutes of load-shedding jokes before people move on to the performance of various international sports teams. I take no pleasure in it.”

Last month, Eskom board member Busisiwe Mavuso defended De Ruyter during a parliamentary briefing, saying he and the board would not be the “fall guy” for the mess the power utility is experiencing.

Mavuso said it was the ANC-led government’s failures that caused damage at Eskom over the years.

“The reality of the matter is this is not our mess.

“Everything else, honestly, we cannot be the fall guy for this ANC-led government.”

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