South Africa: Eskom CEO de Ruyter Accused of Nepotism, Irregular Decision-Making and Contract Manipulation

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  • Eskom’s suspended chief procurement officer (CPO), Solly Tshitangano, has accused Eskom CEO André de Ruyter, of nepotism, irregular decision-making and contract manipulation.
  • The allegation were made known yesterday at a meeting of Parliament’s Standing Committee on Public Accounts (SCOPA).
  • SCOPA has decided the allegations are serious enough to investigate and will hear evidence from Mr Tshitangano in person.
  • The jury is out on whether the move on the part of Mr Tshitangano is a push back against de Ruyter’s efforts to clean up the corruption riddled state owned energy utility, or does the suspended chief of procurement have a genuine case? 

Eskom responds

“procurement at Eskom has long been an area of particular concern to the Board of Eskom, as it is an area associated with state capture. Savings expected from procurement have failed to materialise, and as hearings at SCOPA have repeatedly evidenced, compliance with National Treasury requirements have not met the expectations of the Board with regard to good governance.”

Eskom adds that “The Board has therefore encouraged and instructed the executive management of Eskom, including the Group Chief Executive, André de Ruyter, to pay particular attention to the procurement function to effect the required change, and deliver the expected savings. Progress in this regard has been slower than the Board would have liked to see, at least in part due to leadership lacunae in the procurement function.”

“The Board of Eskom affirms its support and confidence in the executive management of the company in instilling a high performance culture, including the application of appropriate consequence management in accordance with Eskom’s internal disciplinary processes. The Board has complete faith in the company’s internal processes and governance procedures to deliver a fair process and outcome on the matter of the suspended Chief Procurement Officer.”

Eskom rubbishes claims and makes a warning

“Unfortunately, over the past few weeks a number of allegations have been put in the public domain and in the media, which, on the face of it, seek to influence internal operational and good governance processes by exerting pressure through structures outside of Eskom.

These allegations and the accompanying unwarranted attacks on Eskom’s management team have the potential effect of distracting management from the critical role of restoring Eskom to operational effectiveness and financial stability.”

Author: Bryan Groenendaal


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