Eskom says Gupta-owned Tegeta could face hefty fine for not adequately meeting its coal supply contract. This is as the power utility is scrambling to source enough coal to feed one of the country’s major power stations after a dispute with its supplier Tegeta Exploration and Resources.

Leaked Eskom minutes published by the amaBhungane Centre for Investigative Journalism have revealed that Tegeta allegedly threatened to halt coal supplies unless the parastatal paid more per ton.

Eskom says it cannot agree to Tegeta’s request to pay more for the coal supply as this may send a wrong message to the market.

“We are saying Tegeta should stick to the agreement that we have. If Eskom were to accommodate Tegeta it will have an unfortunate interpretation,” says Eskom’s Spokesperson Khulu Phasiwe.

Eskom has been at the heart of allegations of illegal contracts and undue influence in awarding tenders to the Gupta family.

Tegeta is owned by the Guptas‚ President Jacob Zuma’s son Duduzane and Trillian founder Salim Essa.

It sources coal from the Optimum Coal Mine.

According to Leaked Eskom minutes published by the amaBhungane Centre for Investigative Journalism, Tegeta is exporting coals that are for Eskom. As a result the utility’s coal stockpiles have been reduced.

Eskom says it is now investigating whether supply at all its 12 power stations complied with regulations requiring at least 20 days’ worth.

Phasiwe says Tegeta will be given time to restore the coal supply. He says failure may result in a penalty.

“Tegeta has a contract to supply us with 400 000 tons per month, but they are supplying us with much lesser than that.”

Eskom says rolling loadshedding is unlikely despite coal supply possibly falling below a 20-day requirement at the Hendrina power station.

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