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I’m not resigning, says Eskom boss

November 10, 2021

Eskom CEO André de Ruyter is going nowhere. The board has not discussed his resignation with him and he will not hand it in of his own accord.

Facing sharp questions about the current round of Stage 4 load shedding from up to 500 journalists at a hastily convened media briefing on Tuesday afternoon, a tired-looking De Ruyter said Eskom needs continuity in leadership and he is staying put.

De Ruyter’s response comes after calls for his resignation – from among others the Black Business Council (BBC) and the National Union of Metalworkers (Numsa) – in light of Eskom’s continued inability to provide stable power supply to the country.

In recent days Eskom has blamed a shortage of diesel, negligent staff, maintenance delays, procurement delays, lack of money and a power blackout in Zambia for the blackouts South Africa has been suffering on and off since October.

On Tuesday the utility added to the list municipalities and large power users that do not comply with the load shedding instructions, which De Ruyter said led to Eskom intensifying load shedding from Stage 2 to Stage 4 this week.

Group executive for generation Segomoco Scheepers refused to name the errant clients and municipalities, saying the list of municipalities “is quite long” since only Buffalo City and eThekwini did comply.

When pressed on details he confessed that “not all of the 160” odd municipalities were non-compliant. “We looked at the bigger municipalities.”

He did not answer a question about the extent of the shortfall in volume shed in response to the Stage 2 instructions.

Eskom chief operating officer Jan Oberholzer said Eskom can currently only reliably provide 25 000 to 27 000 megawatts (MW) of generation capacity.

On Monday (November 8) the total demand was 30 440MW, according to data tweeted by Eskom spokesperson Sikonathi Mantshantsha.-moneyweb

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