Head of South Africa’s troubled power company, Eskom, quits

Dec 13, 2022, 9:14 PM | Updated: Dec 14, 2022, 11:53 am

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — The chief executive of South Africa’s troubled power utility Eskom has resigned amid high levels of nationwide power blackouts of up to 10 hours daily.

The resignation of Andre de Ruyter comes amid pressure from the public and various stakeholders as Eskom has failed to keep the lights on, plunging South Africa, the continent’s most developed, into an electricity crisis that appears to be worsening.

The state-owned Eskom confirmed De Ruyter’s resignation Wednesday. He will stay on until March 31 “to ensure continuity while we urgently embark on a search for his successor,” said Eskom Board Chairman Mpho Makwana.

Eskom is not able to generate adequate power for South Africa’s consumption and the country has had rolling power cuts for years. But in recent weeks the situation has become much more serious with power cuts of up to 10 hours per day.

Ongoing mechanical breakdowns at the country’s aging coal-fired power stations and backlogs in their maintenance could lead to even longer power cuts that may last 12 to 14 hours per day, experts warn.

De Ruyter has recently faced criticism from Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe and Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan.

The country’s failure to secure a stable power supply has been one of the vexing challenges to President Cyril Ramaphosa and is expected to be one of the key issues at the upcoming national conference of the ruling African National Congress.

De Ruyter was appointed Eskom chief executive in December 2019 following years of power cuts and wide-ranging allegations of corruption at the utility.

A judicial probe into corruption in government and state-owned enterprises placed Eskom at the center of massive revelations about corruption in government during former President Jacob Zuma’s tenure from 2009 to 2018.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Image: This photo provided by the Washington Department of Ecology shows a derailed BNSF train on t...

Associated Press

Judge orders BNSF to pay Washington tribe nearly $400M for trespassing with oil trains

BNSF Railway must pay the sum to a Native American tribe in Washington after it ran 100-car trains with crude oil on the tribe's reservation.

14 hours ago

Photo: In this photo provided by Tieanna Joseph Cade, an amusement park ride is shown stuck with 30...

Associated Press

Crews rescue 28 people trapped upside down high on Oregon amusement park ride

Emergency crews in Oregon rescued 28 people after they were stuck dangling upside down high on a ride at a century-old amusement park.

15 hours ago

juneteenth shooting texas...

Associated Press

2 killed and 6 wounded in shooting during a Juneteenth celebration in a Texas park

A shooting in a Texas park left two people dead and six wounded, including two children, on Saturday, authorities said.

2 days ago

Photo: Israeli soldiers drive a tank near the Israeli-Gaza border, in southern Israel, Wednesday, J...

Jack Jeffery, The Associated Press

8 Israeli soldiers killed in southern Gaza in deadliest attack on Israeli forces in months

An explosion in Gaza killed eight Israeli soldiers, the military said Saturday, making it the deadliest attack on Israeli forces in months.

2 days ago

Juanita Beach Kirkland...

Kathy McCormack and Nick Perry, The Associated Press

‘Tis the season for swimming and bacteria alerts in lakes, rivers

With summer about to start, many people flocking to their favorite swimming holes may also want to read up on bacteria warnings.

3 days ago

Image: Members of the Makah Indian tribe paddle away from the rising sun as they head from Neah Bay...

Associated Press

Washington’s Makah Tribe clears major hurdle toward resuming traditional whale hunts

The U.S. granted the Makah Indian Tribe a long-sought waiver that helps clear the way for its first sanctioned whale hunts since 1999.

5 days ago

Head of South Africa’s troubled power company, Eskom, quits