Eskom’s contract with the Gupta-family linked coal supplier Tegeta Exploration and Resources is coming back to haunt the country. The company has been placed under business rescue. It is still failing to fulfill its contract to supply coal to power-stations.
This has subsequently sparked concerns of load-shedding from Members of Parliament. Forced to rob Peter to pay Paul, that is the dilemma facing Eskom’s executive, as they bid to avoid plunging the country into darkness yet again this winter.
Tegeta Exploration and Resources, under business rescue, can no longer fulfil its multi-million rand contractual obligations of supplying the much needed coal for the necessary electricity output.
“We now need to get replacement coal from other sources, because Tegeta is unable to supply us so it does actually exacerbate the coal situation. The fact that Tegeta is in business rescue is now actually affecting us very adversely,” says Eskom’s Group Executive of Transmission Willie Majola.
Members of Parliament then sought assurances from Eskom that the Tegeta debacle will not leave the country stranded in the dark and cold of winter.
“Load-shedding has been typically in the summer, not so much in the winter. If it is in the winter, it is only one or two hours but I can give the assurance that every person employed in Eskom is making sure ultimately that we never get to that stage of load-shedding,” says Eskom’s Head of Generation Thava Govender.
Meanwhile, the Freedom Front Plus says it will ask the Companies Commission to investigate Eskom and some of its former directors.
This pertains to allegations of mismanagement which have surfaced during the inquiry into State Capture at the power utility.