Andre de Ruyter. Picture: BLOOMBERG/WALDO SWIEGERS
Andre de Ruyter. Picture: BLOOMBERG/WALDO SWIEGERS

The appointment of a white person — Nampak CEO Andre de Ruyter — as Eskom CEO does not indicate a reversal of government’s commitment to transformation, minister in the presidency Jackson Mthembu said  Thursday.

Mthembu was briefing the media on the outcomes of Wednesday’s cabinet meeting.

“Those who are screaming and saying ‘why not a black candidate’ ... indeed, black candidates have had an opportunity so this is not a reversal of the standing policy of government on transformation. None whatsoever.

“If you look at the boards of all our entities, if you look at the people we appoint to senior positions, we ensure that the spread of people in our country is represented,” Mthembu said. “We are fully behind the appointment of Andre de Ruyter. This is in no way undermining transformative activities that we have undertaken as government.” 

The government wanted to appoint the right person for the job, he said, noting that the Eskom board had presented government with its two best candidates. A government team had examined the work of the board and confirmed its findings.

“Mr de Ruyter brings to the position significant international experience; extensive experience of dealing with governments and regulators in a variety of jurisdictions; turnaround skills based on rigorous cost cutting, margin improvements, and organisational restructuring; a track record of delivering sustainable profits and value for stakeholders; strong strategy and execution competence with a strategic focus on conceptualising; and integrating corporate operating models and strategic delivery,” Mthembu said.

“The cabinet believes that Mr de Ruyter will work with the leadership of Eskom to drive the proposed Eskom interventions as spelt out in the Eskom paper entitled “Roadmap for Eskom in a Reformed Electricity Supply Industry”.