NUM Joins Calls For Eskom Bosses To Resign

The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) has joined growing calls for the Eskom board and executive under the leadership of CEO Andre De Ruyter to resign.

“The leadership of De Ruyter has sold South Africans a dead cat. They promised that they would resolve the problem of load shedding in 18 months. They dismally failed to meet their set target,” said William Mabapa, NUM Acting General Secretary on Tuesday.

“The executive leadership of De Rutyer and the board must do South African a favour and resign from their positions or the government must intervene and release this incompetent and useless leadership.

“We call on the government to set up a team of competent South Africans to run Eskom while waiting for the appointment of a new board and executives.”

On Monday, the Black Business Council (BBC), which was amongst the first to congratulate Andre de Ruyter on his appointment in November 2019 called for him and the entire board of directors to step down due to their inability to resolve the prolonged electricity blackouts.

“The BBC was overly optimistic when de Ruyter was appointed as Eskom needed stability but has since realised that two years later, the country has nothing to show but the highest number of blackouts in the history of our beloved South Africa” said Kganki Matabane, the CEO of the BBC.

The BBC said it was of the view that the country should acknowledge that the Eskom leadership was “completely overwhelmed, inept and out of its depth”.

Meanhwile, the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA) said it rejects Eskom’s announcement that a major incident in Zambia affected the power supply and a Tutuka generator also tripped. 

“It is clear that the current executive management of Eskom led by the CEO Andre De Ruyter and its COO Jan Oberholzer have no idea how to resolve the crisis of load-shedding at Eskom,” said NUMSA.

“We repeat our demand for the Eskom board to remove both De Ruyter and Oberholzer immediately and urgently find suitably qualified executive managers with engineering experience at Eskom, to help us stabilise the grid.

“Such talent does exist and the governing ANC and the Eskom board must urgently act in the interests of the public and remove the pair for the sake of our economic recovery as a country.”

Criticism of Eskom on social media was rife and rabid.

Eskom on Monday ramped up load-shedding from Stage 2 to Stage 4, citing the failure of seven generators to return to service.

Load-shedding Stage 4 will continue till Friday the power utility said.

Stage 4 load shedding means that up to 4000MW of capacity needs to be shed. Consumers can expect to be shed up to 12 times over a four-day period for two hours at a time, or 12 times over an eight-day period for four hours at a time.

SABC is reporting that Eskom CEO De Ruyter is on his way back to the country to address the ongoing load-shedding.

He was scheduled to address a round-table on the energy transition at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Glasgow this afternoon.