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Less than 3 years at the helm: De Ruyter's mission impossible - and how it came crashing down

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Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Eskom, André de Ruyter, speaks during an interview on 15 November 2021 in Johannesburg, South Africa. (Photo: Gallo Images/Rapport/Deon Raath)
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Eskom, André de Ruyter, speaks during an interview on 15 November 2021 in Johannesburg, South Africa. (Photo: Gallo Images/Rapport/Deon Raath)

Nothing could have prepared André de Ruyter for what he found at Eskom when he took over as chief executive officer in January 2020.

Two-and-half years later, his efforts to turnaround Eskom's fortunes were simply not enough to deal with the utility's aging fleet, rampant corruption and financial distress - certainly not without the proper support. 

In the week that De Ruyter walked into Megawatt Park, he was confronted by the fact executives were about to commit the broke power utility to a dodgy R14-billion oil contract. He cancelled the contract, making a lot of enemies in the process.

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