As Eskom signs a loan with the China Development Bank, the Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse says it’s going to pursue cases of those involved in irregular expenditure.
On Monday, the power utility revealed that it uncovered nearly R20 billion in irregular expenditure which dates as far back as 2012.
The Eskom Board says it’s in the process of addressing and closing out all the irregularities.
National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) has called for further investigations into irregular expenditure at the utility.
Eskom has signed an R33.4bn loan with the China Development Bank. This increases the utility’s funding requirements to 66% of its R72 billion target.
CEO Phakamani Hadebe says the utility expects to have concluded all its funding requirement in the next two months.
This loan will be used for construction of the Kusile power station.
Eskom’s Irregular Expediture went up from R3bn in 2017 to R19.6 billion in 2018. 60% of incidents relate to administrative non-compliance.
Other irregularities were due to companies doing business with Eskom not submitting tax clearance certificates, particularly overseas companies.
This amounted to more than R3 billion.
The board says irregular expenditure could increase further in 2019.
Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse says this demonstrates the extent of the rot at Eskom.
And it calls for those responsible to be held to account.
Eskom’s liquidity position is also a massive and growing concern. Municipalities alone owe the utility R30 billion.
At R14 billion, Soweto is responsible for the bulk of the amount due to Eskom.
“I can’t afford to pay the high electricity bill, I don’t work, I own a small business and I have many kids to take care off, Eskom must lower electricity,” says a resident.
“We are struggling, a lot of people are not paying electricity and it is causing problems but Eskom as well is causing problems by always increasing tariffs on electricity. We have no jobs and can’t afford to pay electricity,” says another resident.
“We buy electricity and the units are not the same they are low we cannot afford to keep on buying electricity, spending more than R100 hundred a week. We don’t even use this electricity because after the power cuts the units are less, we have been complaining about Eskom and not one is hearing us,” adds another resident.
Meanwhile, Eskom is taking drastic steps to recoup the money.
It will embark on a process it terms bulk electricity “disruptions” in the Emfuleni local municipality in Gauteng with effect from 6 August due to the monthly increase of the municipality’s debt.
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