Thank Eskom private intel project for decrease in power blackouts says George Fivaz

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This time last year then Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter and former South African Police chief General George Fivaz were embroiled in a hostile exposé of the business-funded private intelligence operation at the buckling State Owned Enterprise (SOE).

A year on, ProtectionWeb interviewed Fivaz on the unprecedented intervention, which shook government, rudely awakening a country and slumbering intelligence agencies in full denial of the pivotal role of business intelligence operations.

But Fivaz believes the tide has not yet turned against corruption at South Africa’s SOEs, mainly because official security agencies fail to utilise extensive private intelligence capabilities.

“Andre de Ruyter looked at me and said – this could be the last chance to save Eskom and South Africa – do it!”

These words in December 2021 triggered a unique private intelligence operation – initially ignoring state law enforcement and intelligence agencies, yet ultimately providing proof-of-concept for business-driven private intelligence.

Fivaz and his George Fivaz Forensic & Risk outfit launched the operation against four major crime cartels – penetrating criminal leadership, identifying operational black sites and ultimately disrupting by mobilising National Defence Force and private security resources.

The stakes could not have been higher, with a paralysed Eskom in danger of a criminal take-over – taking South Africa with it whilst official agencies dithered.

De Ruyter was also personally targeted by cartel hit-squad surveillance and a poisoning attempt well into the project.

Fivaz put the ultra-secret private intelligence operation into motion after accessing funding from Business Leadership South Africa (BLSA) and other businesses.

“It had a liberating effect on Eskom top management – and ultimately freed them from direct cartel intimidation and even control – it restored freedom of action and gave a fighting chance,” Fivaz told ProtectionWeb.

Read the full story on ProtectionWeb here.