COSATU position on the appointment of a new Eskom CEO

The Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) has noted the uproar generated by media headlines that claim that the federation wants the outgoing Eskom CEO Andre De Ruyter to stay on as the CEO of Eskom. These headlines overstate the position and take the organisation’s line of reasoning out of context. The Federation explicitly supported the resignation of Mr Andre De Ruyter last year, and we made it clear that we expect government to appoint a new permanent CEO by the end of March 2023.

The thrust of the Federation’s stance, in our previous communique, was that government needs to expedite the appointment of a permanent CEO for Eskom. We made it clear that we will reject the appointment of an interim CEO for Eskom.

We do not want a repeat of the 2019 situation, where the late Jabu Mabuza (Board Chairperson) was also appointed as an Acting CEO of Eskom Holdings and Acting Group CEO (GCEO) of Eskom for three months. This arrangement distorts the lines of accountability and undermines governance and management systems and protocols.

The issue of possibly extending the term of the outgoing CEO by a month was a side issue and a worst-case scenario option, it was not a call as reported by some in the media. The main demand and proposal that the Federation will be submitting to the upcoming ANC Lekgotla is for the new appointment of a new permanent Eskom CEO by the end of March.

This is not a new position; the Federation has been consistently arguing against interim chief executive appointments in the SOES and state agencies because this creates instability of management and leadership and undermines stakeholder confidence.

We have also railed against the high turnover of CEOs and directors-general in government departments, state agencies and State -Owned Companies. One-third of directors-general appointed since 2004 have left their positions under a cloud. SAA and Eskom have had over 22 CEOs between them over the past decade.

COSATU also does not expect government to recycle the same old people who have failed to fix the SOEs, when appointing a new Eskom CEO. The entire economy is sinking under the weight of loadshedding, and this appointment is, therefore, very important. 

Issued by COSATU   

Sizwe Pamla (Cosatu National Spokesperson)
Tel: 011 339 4911
Fax: 011 339 5080
Cell: 060 975 6794