The interim chairperson of the Eskom board, Malegapuru Makgoba, has asked Members of Parliament for their patience as they try to fix the power utility. Eskom executives, as well as the Minister of Public Enterprises Pravin Gordhan, appeared before Parliament’s Standing Committee on Public Accounts, to brief them about various issues, including cases handed over to law enforcement agencies.

MPs demanded for swifter action to be taken against those who contributed to the current state of Eskom.

Members of SCOPA wanted to know who will be held accountable for irregular expenditure and over payments of billions of rands at Eskom.

Eskom power supply constraints under spotlight:

Besides having handed cases over to the Special Investigations Unit, Eskom boss, Andre de Ruyter, says they have to sift through mountains of paperwork to get to the bottom of things.

“If I can share with members the complexity of things; we have contracts manipulated, we have so many files to go through to get to facts, we have found that deliberate obfuscation has taken place.”

Eskom’s acting head of Legal and Compliance, Bartlett Hewa, told MPs they have handed over cases to law enforcement agencies.

“We instituted civil processes in August against Tegeta, Gupta brothers, former employees and executives, claiming R3 billion related to optimum coal mine. Also, the former minister is part of that court process.”

Eskom and the SIU’s legal process to recover funds from former executives:

Makgoba has asked members of Parliament for their patience as they try to fix the power utility.

“We are dealing with chronic intransigent culture. We appeal to members to understand; to turn this big ship requires persistence, focus and all energies as board, exco and staff of Eskom.”

Corruption

Gordhan has also added that some entities have been hollowed out due to corruption and state capture and will take time to rebuild.

“These institutions are severely damaged in respect of operations, finances, work ethic, integrity or internal controls. What the CEO is trying to communicate, is that they are in midst of process of rebuilding institutions and that context is quite important.”