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Press Statement, 19 November 2019
ANDRE DE RUYTER APPOINTMENT A DIRECT TICKET TO PRIVATISATION
The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) is not committing itself that it will provide full support to the newly appointed Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter.
The appointment of Andre de Ruyter as a group CEO of Eskom is a reversal of transformation gains we achieved since 1994 and a violation of the Employment Equity Act. Secondly, the appointee is a decorated lawyer with LLB and MBA qualifications. Clearly, the battle lines have been drawn, and this appointment confirms the refusal by the Government to consult unions. The task ahead for Ruyter is employing his legal skills to unbundle and privatise Eskom. It also demonstrates government intention which is privatising Eskom at all costs and not focussed on saving the ailing utility.
The NUM condemns this ill-informed decision, which has relegated black professionals and engineers to second-rate graduates and regarded as associated with failure. Mediocrity and poverty are associated with a black colour as such race issues cannot be undermined.
Secondly, engineering skills are a requirement for success in an engineering firm like Eskom. Unfortunately, Ruyter does not possess such skills.
The NUM calls upon Government to genuinely and honestly consult with Labour at Eskom to develop a turnaround strategy aimed at saving the ailing utility and continue to generate reliable and affordable energy for South Africans. It is proven all over the world that a reliable supply of energy and affordable prices is not possible in a privatised electrical firm, with chases profits at all costs.
The NUM met last weekend and adopted a mass rolling programme of action buttressed by a total shutdown to force the government to reverse unbundling the precursor of privatisation. Details will be announced in due course including a welcoming party for Ruyter on 15 January 2020.
We demand a socially-owned vertically integrated Eskom to generate, transmit and distribute reliable electricity at affordable prices. The utility must create access to the grid for 18% of South Africans who do not have access and lead electrification in the SADC region.
For more information, please contact:
Joseph Montisetse: NUM President: 082 809 2391
Paris Mashego: NUM Eskom Energy Sector Coordinator: 079 517 1758
7 Rissik Street.
Tel: 011 377 2111
Twitter: @Num Media