Andre de Ruyter to appear before government next week

 ·19 Apr 2023

Former Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter confirmed that he would appear before a parliamentary committee on Wednesday, 26 April.

De Ruyter is set to appear before the Standing Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa) after dropping off the map following an explosive interview with ENCA, alleging ANC-linked corruption at the most critical company in South Africa.

According to Scopa chair Mkhuleko Hlenga, De Ruyter will appear virtually before the committee to answer questions relating to the corruption allegations.

The committee said that it is looking forward to interacting with the former CEO and hopes that the interaction could expose the ‘considerable malfeasance and corruption’ at the national power utility.

On 31 March, De Ruyter agreed to consult the committee; however, no specific date was given. The committee said that the former CEO would be quizzed on corruption, theft, maladministration, sabotage, the lack of consequence management, cartels and other financial irregularities at Eskom.

On 21 February, De Ruyter suggested that those in the ruling party viewed Eskom as a “feeding trough” and that corruption was entrenched at the utility.

He expressed concern about attempts to water down governance around the $8.5 billion that was received at COP26. He claimed that a senior government minister had told him that in order to pursue the greater good, some people had to be allowed to “eat a little bit”.

This ruffled feathers within the ANC, and the ruling party called on De Ruyter to lay criminal charges within seven days. Failure to do so would result in the party laying section 34 charges against him relating to the failure to report knowledge or suspicion of corruption.

The ANC also announced that they were finalising summons; however, with no knowledge of where the CEO was, they were unable to deliver defamation summons.

While allegations of corruption at Eskom run wild, the power utility is hanging on by a thread coming into the winter months, when demand is expected to skyrocket and load shedding to increase in severity and frequency.

Peter Attard Montalto, an analyst from Intellidex, alongside other researchers who are experts in the field of energy, have warned that South Africa is going to experience far worse load shedding very soon.

Montalto said that South Africa needs a sensible plan and political will to tackle the load-shedding crisis and act quickly without mulling over which is the best remedy for the situation.

He added that it might be too little too late to prevent record power outages during the three-month winter.

Read: Winter load shedding is going to be worse than you expect, analyst warns

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