BOOK REVIEW | Truth to Power

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My Three Years Inside Eskom

By André de Ruyter


When André de Ruyter took over as Eskom CEO in January 2020, he quickly realised why it was considered the toughest job in South Africa.

Aside from neglected equipment, ageing power stations and an eroded skills base, he discovered that Eskom was crippled by corruption on a staggering scale. Fake fuel oil deliveries at just one power station cost Eskom R100 million per month; kneepads retailing for R150 a pair were purchased for R80,000; billions of Rands of equipment supposedly housed in the company’s storerooms was missing.

The behind-the-scenes

Faced with police inaction, he was compelled to plunge into a world that was foreign to him – a world of spies and safe houses, of bulletproof vests and bodyguards.

In Truth to Power, De Ruyter tells the behind-the-scenes story of how he launched a private investigation that exposed at least four criminal cartels feeding off Eskom. While fighting this scourge, he had to deal with political interference, absurd regulations, non-paying municipalities, unfounded accusations of racism, wildcat strikes, sabotage and a poisoning attempt.

De Ruyter takes the reader inside the boardrooms and government meetings where South Africa’s future is shaped, with ministers often pulling in conflicting directions. He explains how renewable energy is the cheapest and quickest solution to our power crisis, in spite of fierce opposition from vested coal interests.

De Ruyter candidly reflects on his three years at the power utility, his successes and failures, his reasons for leaving and his hopes for the future. As someone who worked at the highest levels of the state but is not beholden to the ruling party, he is uniquely placed to speak truth to power.

About the author

André de Ruyter was raised in Bronkhorstspruit and Pretoria. After holding executive positions at Sasol and heading up Nampak, he served as Eskom CEO from January 2020 to February 2023.

He remains keenly interested in synchronising economic growth, job creation and environmental benefits through a just energy transition.


  • PUBLISHER | Penguin Random House SA |
  • ISBN | 9781776390625 |
  • Recommended Retail Price | R340.00 |
  • Classification | Management |



12 COMMENTS

  1. Mind-boggling! Anyone who reads this book and then still believes SA can continue to sustain, without dire consequences, the blatant corruption and inefficiency at both State and municipal level is living in an alternative reality. Indeed, as more than ever before, cry the beloved country.

  2. Ditto Dudley Ristow! And the people trying to safe our land is being haunted and terminated on a daily basis so that the corrupt leaders can sustain their high cost of living on the expense of the poor people – shame on all these corrupt leaders and ever increasing hunger-for-money and posession governments “agents”.

    • I honestly think that everything AdR said is the truth, especially with that interview on tv,the ANC is truly disgusting,i don’t think all of them are but they are filling there pockets,i think their pockets are overflowing with all the money that’s being stolen,does the ANC and whatever parties that are involved actually even believe in a living God,i don’t think so, it’s so painful to see mother’s and father’s traveling home in horrible traffic at night with the loadshedding, coming home late, while the politicians live their best lives and being comfortable with all the stolen tenders and corruption at Eskom, people that’s supposed to be retired are still in top positions,the words that i want say is too ugly to type,how do they sleep at night while this once a pon a time was a beautiful country that’s now in ruins,jeezzzzzzz!!!! South Africans are suffering, Honestly i don’t know, and yes they sleep peacefully at night,no worries for them, and I’m sure is maybe a handful of politicians that do have a conscience about our ruined state, welcome South Africa to our so called beautiful country, well i guess we just keep on praying,like the ANC said a few elections ago “ANC is here until Jesus comes,so sad to know that they going to win the next one again,the same south Africans are again going to vote ANC

  3. You are jobless & struggling because of almost 30 years of the ANC’s incompetence, no maintenance, no service delivery etc..& now people even dying from contaminated water!! Wake up SA, STOP believing the sing song promises of the ANC & VOTE THEM OUT!! THEY’RE OUT TO KILL YOU, to have LESS to pay out, for MORE in their pockets. SHAME on the disgraceful ANC!!!

  4. The ANC must never be again!!!
    People must understand that a politician is a different breed of human. They do not care, they will look anyone in the eye and lie. I read with interest about the the imbizo held in the Winelands where those poor rural people raised their concerns to Ramaphoza and his cronies. I can very well imagine their excitement and honour to be speaking to the President.Sadly, they are all fooled by thinking they’re being taken serious. Don’t they know the next election is around the bend? It is a campaign ….Nothing else!!!!
    Our people MUST WAKE UP and realize that a politician is not afraid of many things BUT there is one thing he is afraid of….YOUR VOTE!!!!
    USE IT… AGAINST THEM!!!!!

  5. South Africa lives in the past and votes as-if it’s still 1994. It’s like we forgot that we fought for our right to vote and to hold the givernment to account. Instead we listen to the lies of the ANC who wish to do nothing more than use fear to divide us as a nation so that they can cling to power.

  6. Critics might say that AdR comes across as arrogant, but I found him refreshingly honest. He has an incredible grip on micro and macro-economics and is actually supremely qualified to lead SA. If some would just overlook his skin colour, and SA’s electoral system allowed for it, he would change the course of this country. His book also highlights Marxist ideology, and how those in decisionmaking positions are failing the people. His book is an absolute must read.

    • Totally agree with you,i think if AdR was black guy most south Africans would have taken him seriously, unfortunately he’s white, clever, educated,did his homework and knows what’s he is talking and there is many black and coloured people that’s backing AdR

  7. Here is the problem:
    SA does not have a “government” – SA has a crime syndicate running it.
    Also don’t forget, greed is one of the seven most deadly sins.
    No party or human can “FIX” what has been broken, stolen and not maintained. This is how broken this country is. With a motto of burn, break and steal this is the result! The ANC are using the poor to maintain power instead of helping them. SA currently needs a miracle! ADR for president.

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