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By Faizel Patel

Senior Digital Journalist

‘Fire Andre de Ruyter now!’ – Youth council say load shedding intensified under CEO’s watch

The founding president of the SAYEC say Eskom needs more people – including young black professionals with expertise – who are capable to occupy strategic positions at the power utility.

As South Africans continue to suffer rolling blackouts up to stage 6, the South African Youth Economic Council (SAYEC) says load shedding is a result of Eskom’s incompetence.

They are therefore calling for CEO Andre de Ruyter to be fired as soon as possible.

The dark lords of Megawatt Park continue to face backlash from citizens and civil society organisations due to the ongoing power cuts in the country.

ALSO READ: Eskom employees return to work, but load shedding goes on

Founding president of the SAYEC, Kanakana Mudzanani, told the SABC that the management at Eskom depicts a sense of incompetence.

“On numerous occasions, they failed to maintain their power plants. If you do not meet the schedule deadlines to maintain your power plants, we are going to constantly have an issue where we are unable to meet the demand that is available and so we would need to resort to blackouts.”

“But secondary to that, there is no strategic plan on how Eskom can be rescued or how Eskom can be functional at an optimum level where it is able to meet the demand that is available on [the] grid,” said Mudzanani

He says Eskom needs more people – including young black professionals with expertise – who are capable to occupy strategic positions at Eskom.

“Particularly the chief executive officer’s position. We need someone who’s much more technical, we need someone who has a good strong background in engineering and someone who’s definitely young and fit for purpose who’s going to ensure the power utility is restored to ensure that South Africans do not find themselves in the crisis that we currently find ourselves in.”

Mudzanani says load shedding intensified under De Ruyter’s watch.

“Load shedding commences in 2007, but from 2007 to around 2019, Eskom shed about 2 300 gigawatts hour. In 2020 when Andre de Ruyter until 2021, the amount of energy that we shed in gigawatts is close to 4 000.”

“So that just shows you that the amount of load shedding we experienced since it commenced in 2007, a fair share of it was a result of Andre’s incompetence at Eskom,” said Mudzanani.

Mudzanani says so much energy was shed under de Ruyter in a couple of years, even the combined other CEOs have not been able to reach such a loss of gigawatts under their watch.

“It is very important to note that the amount of money that we have lost as an economy because of load shedding, 50% of that portion occurred under Andre de Ruyter’s watch.”

Mudzanani says President Cyril Ramaphosa must take responsibility as the leader of the country, and appoint competent young people to lead Eskom if Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan is unable to do so.

ALSO READ: Pravin ‘provoking workers’ – Gordhan slammed for saying Eskom ‘wage agreement reached’

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