The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) an opposition party in South Africa, has called for the firing of the entire board of ESCOM, that country’s power utility, its CEO and COO. In a statement seen by Pindula News, the party led by Julius Malema, a former ANC Youth League leader, said ESKOM leadership’s incompetency had plunged South Africa, formerly Azania, into a continuous power crisis. Reads the statement:
EFF CALLS FOR THE IMMEDIATE FIRING OF ESKOM BOARD, CEO AND COO
Monday, 19 September 2022
The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) calls for the immediate firing of Eskom’s entire board, including the incompetent and useless Chief Executive Officer Andre de Ruyter and Chief Operating Officer Jan Oberholzer. The incompetence and arrogance of Eskom executives has plunged South Africa into a perpetual and unwarranted darkness that is killing businesses and livelihoods. The collapse of Eskom and the failure to prove dependable and consistent energy supply are meant to render the country’s electricity utility redundant and useless.
We have consistently warned against the immoral and dishonest intention of handing over South Africa’s energy generation sovereignty to the greedy establishment that will influence all spheres of life, including the future of the country’s political future. The lie perpetuated by Eskom’s incompetent executives and so-called energy analysts is that the country does not have enough renewable energy to provide electricity when there is mechanical breakdown and maintenance, and that Eskom is cash-strapped. The reality is that the crisis facing Eskom is man-made.
The EFF, in February 2020, led a march to Eskom against blackouts and privatization and handed over a memorandum of clear, practical, and implementable demands. Some of the demands we made were:
1. Emphatic call for an end to blackouts
2. Suspension of all processes to retrench workers
3. Review of all power purchasing agreements with independent power producers designed to benefit the racist financial sector.
4. Standardization of all coal prices and only paying the prices determined by the National Energy Regulatory Authority of South Africa.
5. Finish building Kusile and Medupi and set up a coal mine so that coal can be sent directly to the Kusile power station instead of by truck.
These key demands, amongst many others, were made to Eskom and the executive was given 30 days to respond in detail to each demand. We made it clear that the inability of Eskom to supply dependable and consistent electricity to households and businesses is a threat to South Africa’s security and social stability and is killing the economy. However, because there is no sense of urgency and honesty, the Eskom board and executive management have failed to respond to our demands. Also, Eskom has also failed to put in place practical steps to resolve the energy crisis.
The EFF warned about the appointment of de Ruyter and Oberholzer, whose appointment was purely based on the color of their skin because there was enough undisputable evidence that they did not have either the technical or executive experience to manage complex systems. If anything, the evidence showed clearly that du Ruyter failed to manage a food packaging company and that giving him the responsibility to manage the country’s energy generation was reckless. Since his appointment, de Ruyter has shed more than 4,366 GWh in 2 years, more than the past 13 CEOs appointed in the last 15 years.
The government must immediately fire de Ruyter, together with Oberholzer and the Board, before the end of the day. We call for the firing of the board, CEO, and COO, knowing very well that Cyril Ramaphosa’s cowardice will not allow him to take decisive steps. The EFF warns that failure to fire Eskom’s board, CEO, and COO will require us to take more radical steps to ensure that competent, dependable, and fit people are in charge of Eskom to resolve the energy crisis and bring an end to blackouts that have become a permanent feature of our lives.
Sustainable and practical long-term solution to South Africa is balanced energy mix that includes state-owned and control generation through nuclear, renewable, coal and other sources.