In South Africa, Eskom now has a new CEO. André de Ruyter will face a colossal debt that obeys the cash of the public company of production and distribution of electricity.
According to South African media including the daily « News24 », the decision was made public Monday by Pravin Gordhan, Minister of Public Enterprises. Current CEO of Nampak, a plastic products manufacturing company, André de Ruyter replaces Phakamani Hadebe who resigned last October. He is expected to take office on January 15.
Justifying this choice, Pravin Gordhan said the new promoted is a man of experience, referring to 20 years at the head of Sasol, a chemical industry based in Johannesburg.
This appointment comes at a time when Eskom is mired in many difficulties including a debt of 450 billion rand (more than 30.5 billion dollars). Sign that the cash of the company is empty to the point of affecting the smooth running of the structure, as evidenced by the series of rationing and power cuts since mid-October.
A situation that could not be more untenable, which also highlights managerial problems. « The problem at Eskom is not just financial, » said Tito Mboweni, Minister of Finance.
So we need a new management team. « One of the biggest problems we have to solve is to appoint the right people to run Eskom. Name the right board and a competent management team, « Mboweni added.
It remains to be seen if this appointment will really pay, because in ten years, Phakamani Hadebe is the tenth head of Eskom to leave the general direction of the company almost for the same reasons.
A true musical chair for this public structure whose dysfunctions negatively impact the economy of Africa’s leading industrial power.