De Ruyter appointment comes from the 'darker corners of cronyism under Gordhan': ANCYL

19 November 2019 - 14:10 By Aphiwe Deklerk
The ANCYL says the appointment of Andre de Ruyter as Eskom CEO is problematic because it means that public enterprises minister Pravin Gordhan, pictured, has given De Ruyter 'an opportunity to erode shareholder value that belongs to the public and the many taxpayers who work hard to keep Eskom afloat'.
The ANCYL says the appointment of Andre de Ruyter as Eskom CEO is problematic because it means that public enterprises minister Pravin Gordhan, pictured, has given De Ruyter 'an opportunity to erode shareholder value that belongs to the public and the many taxpayers who work hard to keep Eskom afloat'.
Image: Masi Losi

The ANC Youth League has slammed the appointment of Andre de Ruyter as Eskom CEO, saying it was confirmation of the “deep root of white privilege” in South Africa’s boardrooms.

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In a statement by task team convenor Tandi Mahambehlala, the league said the appointment of De Ruyter could be explained only “in the darker corners of cronyism which seem to be perpetuated by the minister of public enterprises [Pravin Gordhan]”. 

De Ruyter’s appointment was announced on Monday, and it came as a shock to many as his name had not been among those rumoured to be front-runners for the difficult job.

“De Ruyter’s dismal track record at Sasol and Nampak makes it inconceivable that he should be elevated to salvage this struggling [state-owned entity]. There exists no sound basis for such an appointment unless [Gordhan is] committed to collapsing Eskom completely.

“Last month we witnessed the resignation of the joint CEOs at Sasol, Bongani Nqwababa and Stephen Cornell, following the disaster of a project at Lake Charles. The Lake Charles saga was engineered by De Ruyter,” the ANCYL statement read.

Mahambehlala said if there was truth to allegations that De Ruyter "is well-known for his creative reporting and cooking of the books", then South Africans should brace themselves for a larger scandal than the catastrophe at Steinhoff. 

“The real problem is that the minister [Gordhan] has now given him an opportunity to erode shareholder value that belongs to the public and the many taxpayers who work hard to keep Eskom afloat.

“Furthermore, the active disregard of the many talented women or black candidates in this process confirms the gender and racial bias that characterises South African boardrooms,” the statement continued.

Mahambehlala said the government had missed an opportunity to advance gender and racial equality in its decision to ignore the many capable women and black candidates with the skills and experience to run Eskom.

The ANC national youth task team rejects this appointment as dirty cronyism and blatant white privilege

“De Ruyter’s appointment is nothing more than a race to the bottom and the ANC national youth task team rejects this appointment as dirty cronyism and blatant white privilege,” reads the statement.

The youth league’s statement comes a day after both the ANC and the official opposition, the DA, welcomed De Ruyter’s appointment.

In a statement on Tuesday, ANC spokesperson Pule Mabe called on South Africans to come together and play a part in rebuilding Eskom.

“The ANC is confident the appointment of the new CEO will strengthen its capacity to deliver reliable energy to South Africans. No economy can grow and thrive without reliable energy.

“Accordingly, the ANC urges management and the board to pay focused attention on improving governance and efficiency in the organisation,” said Mabe.


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