Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter has refused to quit, saying he is not leaving the embattled power utility job of his own volition.
De Ruyter was responding to calls for him to step down made by the Black Business Council, National Union of Mineworkers, and the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa amid frequent rolling blackouts.
He likened Eskom to a “dead horse”, saying you can flog it or even change the jockey and it would not make a difference.
Small businesses are losing money during load-shedding, residents complain their refrigerated food is going off, and electrical appliances are damaged when power is returned.
The Gautrain has been disrupted and some small bakeries said they were throwing away half-baked cakes when the power was switched off.
Traffic lights in cities are mostly not working, creating serious traffic jams and car crashes.
But De Ruiter insists he is the man to stablise the ailing power utility and will only quit if the board asks him to do so. He said there have been no conversations with the Eskom Board in that regard.
His stance has found favour with Business Unity South Africa, which has rejected calls for Eskom’s leaders to step down or be sacked.
Eskom has since moved the country down to Stage 3 load-shedding from Stage 4.
Stage 3 load shedding means that up to 3000MW of capacity needs to be shed.
Consumers can expect to be shed up to 9 times over a four-day period for two hours at a time, or 9 times over an eight-day period for four hours at a time.