Eskom’s André de Ruyter – “Crime doesn’t pay and we will get them in the end”  

  • Eskom Group Chief Executive André de Ruyter says the utility “would have liked to see greater support from law enforcement authorities to see more people in orange overalls” as the organisation is clamping down on corruption.

During Tuesday morning’s Enlit Africa keynote opening session, Mr de Ruyter gave an exclusive update on the progress that is being made on the five-point turnaround plan for South Africa’s national utility, stating that they are “holding people accountable” and were making progress “from a corruption perspective and a consequence management perspective: We have seen some Eskom employees being disciplined, being arrested, money being attached and forfeited to the state, people that we have caught for engaging in corrupt activities. Have we won the war as yet? No. But I think more and more the signal is getting out to those miscreants who are seeking to enrich themselves at the expense of South Africa and Eskom, that crime doesn’t pay, and that we will get them in the end.”

The Eskom five-point recovery plan includes achieving operational stability, improving income statements, strengthening the balance sheet, embarking on organisational restructuring and improving the culture.

Eskom sales have recovered

In a frank conversation with Enlit Africa’s content director, Claire Volkwyn, de Ruyter said operationally, the organisation was also doing better: “It’s a new initiative, so visible, feeling leadership boots on the floor. We are insisting that our power station managers don’t manage from behind the desk, but rather go out and lead from the front.”

The Eskom GCE further reported that from an income statement perspective, the utility was making good progress. “Sales have recovered remarkably well. After the COVID-19 pandemic, we saw a big decrease in our sales over the last financial year. But this year to date, I have to say that sales have recovered very strongly, which is a good sign for the economy overall. So demand is strong.”

Africa’s energy transition: Eskom’s share in emissions

Enlit Africa has a strong focus on the upcoming UN Climate Change Conference (COP26), taking place in Scotland in November, and de Ruyter also addressed Africa’s energy transition and the role that Eskom is expected to play in what many feel should be a ‘just energy transition,’ considering, in particular, how the coal industry will be affected.

“As Eskom”, he explained, “we are responsible for about 25% of African carbon emissions; so, we are a very significant contributor to the carbon footprint of the continent. If we are able to show the way to a cleaner and greener energy future, I think there’s a real opportunity for us to demonstrate that.”

To watch the rest of the keynote interview with André de Ruyter, register on the Enlit Africa-Connect platform by clicking here.

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Opening Keynote: On the road to COP26 To LNG or not: Is that the question? Is there an oversupply of funding and an undersupply of projects?
Cybersecurity considerations for the energy sector across Africa Training: Design principles of utility-connected PV systems Roundtable: Heading to COP26
Wednesday, 27 October 2021
Municipal energy resilience in South Africa Digital equity: Ensuring that digital advances are equitable and just Initiate! Young Talent Challenge: Innovation and the role of Africa's youth in rolling out green energy
SADC Future of e-mobility: EVs as enablers of a new energy paradigm Howden compressors and turbines Howden: KK&K Steam Turbines
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Water: Plugging the revenue leak Waste not, want not: Re-use, recycle and reclaim your wastewater SABIA National Biogas Conference 2021 - 3rd Event
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