Should De Ruyter fall? Should salaries be cut? What you said about load-shedding

20 September 2022 - 12:25
By Kyle Zeeman
Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter's future has been a source of debate amid load-shedding.
Image: Freddy Mavunda/Business Day Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter's future has been a source of debate amid load-shedding.

Load-shedding has been a way of life in SA for more than a decade, with TimesLIVE readers weighing in on debates in this regard. 

Eskom escalated blackouts to stage 6 on Sunday after a generation unit each at Kusile and Kriel power stations tripped. It was reduced to stage 5 on Tuesday. However, the power utility's CEO, André de Ruyter, said there was a risk of high load-shedding stages this week.

“There is a risk and we need to prepare for this risk, and hence the urgent need to replenish our [emergency] reserves,” he said.

TimesLIVE asked for your thoughts on a number of topics concerning the blackouts. This is what you said:

SHOULD THE CEO FALL ON HIS SWORD?

There have been calls for De Ruyter to be fired or step down amid the power crisis, with some blaming him for not doing enough to prevent rolling blackouts.

However, 80% said he “inherited a disaster”, while 12% said the crisis has worsened under his leadership.  

SHOULD ESKOM EXECS AND MANAGEMENT BE SUBJECT TO PAY CUTS?

Critics have suggested De Ruyter and other bosses at the power utility be hit hard in the pocket if load-shedding happens.

Sixty-three percent of readers said their pay should be decreased because “we lose income from load-shedding and so must they”, while 23% said management did not cause the breakdowns.

ARE MINISTERS TO BLAME?

There were suggestions mineral resources and energy minister Gwede Mantashe and public enterprises minister Pravin Gordhan should account.

Fifty percent of readers said the two should be held accountable for Eskom’s failings, while 31% said the problems started long before their tenures.

SHOULD WE TAKE TO THE STREETS?

Gatvol South Africans have contemplated taking to the streets to protest against power cuts in hopes their voices will be heard.

Sixty-four percent said they would join a mass protest, adding that we have struggled with the crisis for more than a decade.

WILL THE PRESIDENT RETURNING TO SA MAKE A DIFFERENCE?

Amid the latest blackouts, President Cyril Ramaphosa cut short an overseas trip to return home to address the issue.

Seventy-seven percent said it will not make a difference, while 13% said they will wait and see what action he takes.