André de Ruyter, the CEO of Eskom, is stepping down with immediate effect.
His departure effectively leaves Eskom without a leader, despite the fact that the Eskom board only began the process of appointing his replacement two weeks ago.
After announcing his resignation at the end of last year, he was expected to serve notice until the end of March.
De Ruyter, Eskom’s 11th CEO in more than a decade, resigned by “mutual agreement” following a special board meeting today (February 22), the company said in a statement.
“The board further resolved that Mr de Ruyter will not be required to serve the balance of his notice period but that he will be released from his position with immediate effect,” it said.
De Ruyter’s resignation follows an explosive television interview with ENCA on Tuesday evening, in which he stated that available evidence showed that the governing ANC saw Eskom as a “eating trough.”
He admitted failure to prevent load-shedding in the country, but he emphasised entrenched corruption within government and governance surrounding Eskom.
When asked about his concerns about corruption, he told the broadcaster that he had expressed his concerns to an unnamed senior government minister about attempts to water down governance around the $8.5 billion in funds being sourced to fund the country’s transition away from fossil fuels, known as the Just Transition.
South Africa is currently experiencing a load-shedding crisis, with the country experiencing its 115th consecutive day of power outages. The country is currently in Stage 6 load-shedding, which means that power will be cut off for 8-12 hours.
Credit rating agencies have recently warned of the impact of the country’s prolonged power outages on its ratings. According to Fitch Ratings, economic growth will average 1.1% this year.