Opinion: Francois Coertzen, Owner of Coertzen Engineering Consultants

I have followed the Eskom saga since paying my first electricity bill as a young man in a new political era for this country. My reference always stays with my 10 years spent in the military since 1992. I say again that a wise man who was handed a country without a shot fired would have retained the skillset and built on that.

In building a medium sized manufacturing business, it was blatantly obvious to stay away from government work and focus on the private sector and later exporting through large scale overseas companies, which I did. But I cannot get out of Eskom’s power supply and it’s the company’s single largest business risk.

I refused to get involved in any Eskom work directly. We might have manufactured some work through project houses but very little.

“I’d like to add that we have a very good skillset in most of our larger fabricators in this country and we can extensively carry out large scale projects and very complicated work that needn’t be sourced from the global village. Please support local in order to recover job losses and give us the opportunity to develop a younger skillset for our future. This is a furnace shell that Coertzen Engineering has built for a client.”

The De Ruyter saga we are experiencing now is like a soap opera your wife watches in the afternoon. The politically orientated people of South Africa who are reading this please take note that our industry is small. We all know what is happening where. We as senior executives or entrepreneurs are all technically minded and very and extremely intelligent otherwise we would have worked for you or be workless like the majority of our country due to the 27 years of empty promises by the ruling party.

Please take note that we have now entered a new political era. The powers that be cannot divide us racially anymore. Verstaan? We will all help to build a financially viable economy and give work to our people. If you play your political games, you will be left to play with yourself. We are under extreme pressure to fix that which is a broken country.

As for Eskom.. De Ruyter himself said to a reporter in a television interview. “Why would you shoot the jockey, riding a broken horse?”

You don’t have to be technical to understand this. So we know the following from the outside. De Ruyter is a commercial genius and a visionary business developer. Jan Oberholser is probably one of the best technical people in the country and he understands power generation like nobody else in the world. He has accumulated some of the best technical skills at engineer level in the country. Duly competent people. It is clear to the writer that De Ruyter has commercially closed all avenues of fraud. It is clear that they are really trying to do the correct maintenance and money is flowing in the right direction. I believe they will recover another couple of billion rand and make profit in this financial year. We, however, are still not sure how broken the business is. If they going to pull off a miracle? I’m not sure, but they are trying.

We see who is firing the shots at De Ruyter. Respect is earned not appointed or self-expected. And please think through what you are saying on this platform or posting. This is a business platform (LinkedIn), which reaches hundreds of millions of executives worldwide. It is embarrassing to be reprimanded.

Just an opinion!