Minister in the Presidency Jackson Mthembu told reporters at a post Cabinet briefing on Tuesday that Minister of Public Enterprises, Pravin Gordhan has been directed to negotiate with incoming Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter that he start his service at the power utility “earlier than expected”.
De Ruyter was announced as the new Eskom CEO in November. He was slated to start working on January 15, 2020.
The announcement comes a week after Eskom had to institute stage 6 load shedding for the first time, which caused President Cyril Ramaphosa to return to SA from an official trip to Egypt.
Mthembu said on Tuesday that Gordhan is expected to negotiate with De Ruyter to start his duties before January.
“Together with his team, he will be able to deal with the concerning issues at Eskom, including governance, financial management and improvement of operations at Eskom."
Mthembu said that, in light of clear governance, operational and maintenance challenges at the debt-laden power utility, Cabinet thought it best that Eskom have stable full time leadership as soon as possible.
“We would like the new CEO to start as soon as possible. That is the mandate that Cabinet has given to the minister of public enterprises,” said Mthembu.
The energy war room will also be re-established and chaired by Deputy President David Mabuza. It will also include Minister of Finance Mboweni, Minister of Energy Gwede Mantashe and Gordhan.
“The team will deal with any challenges relating to our energy supply at Eskom,” said Mthembu.
The briefing continues.
Meanwhile, Eskom announced earlier on Tuesday that the likelihood of load shedding was low for the remainder of the week.