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South Africa's Eskom Appoints Interim CEO

FILE - An Eskom logo is seen at the entrance of its head offices in Sunninghill, Sandton, February 24, 2016.
FILE - An Eskom logo is seen at the entrance of its head offices in Sunninghill, Sandton, February 24, 2016.

South Africa’s beleaguered power utility Eskom Friday announced that they have appointed an interim CEO following Thursday’s departure of Andre de Ruyter.

The South African power utility company said Calim Cassim was appointed as the new Chief Financial Officer and would take the helm “with immediate effect.”

“Eskom is pleased to announce the appointment of Calib Cassim as Interim Group Chief Executive Officer with immediate effect. Mr Cassim will lead the Eskom management team until further notice,” read a statement released by the power utility company.

“Mr Cassim was appointed as Eskom’s Chief Financial Officer (CFO) in November 2018 after serving as Acting CFO from July 2017,” added the statement.

Experts report that Cassim’s appointment comes amid a worsening energy crisis, with record power cuts that have stunted economic growth and angered locals in South Africa.

Experts add that the appointment of the interim CEO comes shortly after the former CEO Andre de Ruyter gave an exclusive interview with news agency eNCA where he alleged that the ruling party is depleting resources allocated to the power utility.

When asked “is Eskom a feeding trough if you like for the ANC” the former CEO responded with “I would say that the evidence suggests that it is.”

In response, the ruling party refuted de Ruyter’s allegations and accused him of “incompetence” and having failed at his job.

Fikile Mbalula, the ruling party’s secretary general took to twitter where he said de Ruyter is using the ANC as a scapegoat.

“We have never condemned De Ruyter as the ANC. We defended this man, we stood by him to the last moment, even when it was difficult to keep the lights on,” tweeted Mbalula.

“But it’s quite clear that when you are faced with a heap of failure, you find an easy scapegoat,” he added.

Information for this report was sourced from Agence France Presse