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Eskom CEO De Ruyter: "We still have bad actors in the Company,

The notion that state capture ended when the Guptas flew out of the South Africa is a myth, Eskom CEO Andre De Ruyter said on Friday evening.

''State capture still continues and is still part of the fabric we are seeing. It is clear that the are still networks established which are still invested in the fruits they reaped during that era''. De Ruyter said during a panel discussion on Eskom hosted by the Ahmed Kathrada foundation, in partnership with the Wits School of Governance. ''The first surprise I got when I joined Eskom was how an air of normality was created in board documents. For example this struck one when you read these documents relating to the Tegeta/Brekfontein transaction which caused Eskom losses of about R3.8 billion''. Decisions at board level were not clearly minuted and led to an atmosphere of ambiguity, which created a lot of space for ''creative interpretations'' of what the board decided. Coupled with that the were ''endless committees for process to go through. In his view, the Public Finance Management Act(PFMA) does not lend itself to proper governance. ''The PFMA is great for buying stationary for government department but if you try to run something like Eskom it is not fit for purpose''. Another point De Ruyter stated was with consequence management -the difficulty to fire someone working for a State Owned Enterprise(SOE). The culture of impunity and entitlement surprised me. It is as though people have the approach that , if they have been at Eskom for many years, you can not get rid of them''. He continued to say'' I 'am not saying one must rule by fear, but it is clear Eskom has not been working the way it should been working for a long period of time''. ''Interest of ministers and former presidents were applied through the board and through members of management being instructed to appoint certain people and give favour certain suppliers and that creates a slippery slope ''. Said De Ruyter. In his view, Eskom current board still lacks experts like an engineer and chartered accountant to oversee management. ''We still have bad actors in the company, but no anymore at executive level, I think ,''ended De Ruyter. '' Yes, we are making progress, but not by a long stretch are as yet able to declare victory''.

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Andre De Ruyter Brekfontein Eskom Guptas Wits School of Governance

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