Energy Analyst Chris Yelland has described the latest move by government and Eskom to exempt the power utility from disclosing irregular and wasteful expenditure as an attempt to clamp down on information.
Eskom will be exempt from disclosing irregular expenditure not linked to criminal activity, for three years in its financial reports.
National Treasury says Eskom was granted the exemption to help the power utility score better in audits.
The announcement has been met with widespread shock from various organisations, political parties and energy experts.
Yelland has raised concerns over, what he calls, the growing lack of transparency.
“The new management at Eskom is beginning, in my analysis, to start to clamp down on information. The regular Eskom media briefings have fizzled out. We didn’t even have a media briefing when Eskom released its financials on the 31st of March.”
“I am really concerned over this growing lack of transparency. We saw this before, during the days of Molefe and Koko, when they took power. It was one of the first things they did, was to clamp down on information. It is very disturbing to me,” says Yelland.
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Meanwhile, lobby group AfriForum says it will bring a review application in court against the National Treasury’s decision to grant exemption to Eskom in terms of reporting irregular and wasteful expenditure in its annual reports.
Afriforum’s Morné Mostert says it is critical that transparency in terms of financial management prevails at any state institution, but especially at Eskom.
Afriforum says it will not allow the government to continue with these unconstitutional and underhanded practices that will further curb the country’s power generation capacity and economic growth.