After a months long search the Ministry of Public Enterprises has announced the new group chief executive at Eskom in Andre de Ruyter.

The appointment of de Ruyter into the position follows Phakamani Hadebe resigning from the same position back in July 2019. The recruitment process saw 142 applications including eight from within Eskom itself.

The interview process saw those 142 whittled down to just 17 individuals. Eight withindrew their application and only six were interviewed by the Eskom board.

Following this only three candidates were selected and a team of cabinet ministers considered the recommendations of the board.

Ultimately de Ruyter was selected as the person to replace Hadebe.

So who exactly is de Ruyter and why has he been selected?

At present the future chief executive is the CEO at Nampak but a report by Fin24 reveals he has had a rather turbulent run at the helm there.

During his time at Nampak the firm’s share price fell from R48.45 in 2014 to R6.85 last week. The CEO has also pocketed a R8.8 million bonus last year despite Nampak’s share price falling by 15 percent.

However, a report from Daily Maverick reveals that outside economic factors were also at play affecting Nampak. These factors include the oil price falling in 2014 and the subsequent collapse of economies in Angola and Nigeria – where Nampak has just constructed factories – led to the firm struggling to make ends meet.

Indeed Nampak has struggled to achieve growth in the last decade.

Despite this, the Ministry says that de Ruyter has agreed to a lower compensation package than the position currently pays.

Before joining Nampak, de Ruyter held a number of senior executive roles at Sasol where he spent 20 years of his working career.

The appointment of de Ruyter has been welcomed by the DA as well as the ANC but was shunned by the EFF.

“This racist project seeks to reinforce the falsehood that Africans cannot manage their own institutions,” EFF spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi said in a statement according to EWN.

According to the ministry, de Ruyter will start his new position in January 2020 when he will have the unenviable task of righting the Eskom ship.