Premier Alan Winde has noted with grave concern the resignation of Eskom Group Chief Executive Andre de Ruyter. “I urgently call on President Cyril Ramaphosa to outline how he will prioritise and ensure a fit-for-purpose Eskom leader that will deliver the energy plan as promised and needed by this province and country,” said the Premier.
“Our experience as the Western Cape Government (WCG) of Mr. de Ruyter is that he has been committed to resolving the significant and myriad long-standing issues facing Eskom during his almost 3 years at the helm. However, he lacked the critical government support to resolve these issues,” The Premier continued.
“Our deepest concern has been the distinct lack of urgency and leadership on this matter that is critical to this province’s livelihood. Just one small example is that we could have reduced load shedding by a whopping 96.5% in 2021, had 5 GW of renewable energy been brought online, as was planned but then compromised with the significant delay between bid window 4 and bid window 5 of the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme.”
He added, “His resignation comes at an extremely precarious time for South Africa as we continue to face relentless and continuous load shedding, rather than deep anxiety about leadership of the utility we should all be doing everything we can to support the utility address its issues. I am deeply perturbed, as are all Western Cape residents. Since 6 September we have had only one day without load shedding and we have had 4 rounds of stage six load shedding this year,” he added.
The WCG has asked for a meeting with Mr. de Ruyter. “We are committed to doing all that we can as a provincial government to reduce the disastrous impact that an unreliable electricity supply is having on the Western Cape. The provincial government has spent a significant amount of time across its departments working to mitigate load shedding. We are spending R36 million over the medium term on the municipal energy resilience programme, which aims to support municipalities, and the private sector, to generate, and to procure, and sell their own power so that we can reduce the impact of rolling power cuts in the province,” the Premier concluded.
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