What is Eskom hiding?

Issued by Kevin Mileham MP – DA Shadow Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy
27 Mar 2024 in News

Note to editors: Please find attached soundbite by Kevin Mileham MP.

The DA notes the decision taken by Eskom to appeal the ruling by the Gauteng High Court – delivered last week, in which the court ordered the entity to hand over information on existing coal and diesel contracts, including contracts for power exports to neighboring countries to Afriforum.

Eskom’s penchant for secrecy after receiving over R180 billion in bailouts and dumping R254 billion of its debt on taxpayers, is astounding and an affront to the principles of transparency and accountability. In simple terms, Eskom is happy to spend billions of rand in taxpayer money but they do want the same taxpayers to know how or to whom they are spending that money on.

South Africans deserve to know:

  • Who are the proprietors/individuals for current Eskom contracts?
  • Whether any holders of current Eskom contracts are politically exposed persons and the circumstances through which they won that contract?
  • Whether the existing contracts are legally compliant with regards to how they were awarded and/or how they are being renewed?
  • If Eskom is receiving value for money for the services provided by contracted companies or individuals?

That taxpayers have no access to information on how Eskom spends its R140 billion annual procurement budget is a national mistake that must be corrected. It was this secrecy that attracted architects of state capture to influence procurement decisions in favor of their front companies, leading to the precipitous collapse of Eskom.

Not too long ago, former Eskom CEO, Andre de Ruyter, alleged that private individuals and companies had a stranglehold contracts for coal, construction and maintenance. In addition, de Ruyter pointed fingers at high-ranking politicians and organised crime syndicates who had essentially taken over the flow of money at individual power stations by manipulating procurement processes in their favour.

By refusing to divulge details of its contracts as directed by the courts, Eskom’s actions raise serious questions of whether it is trying to protect the identity of individuals or companies that are irregularly benefiting from the entity through dodgy contracts.

Eskom’s decision to appeal the decision to release its diesel and coal contracts is frivolous litigation and a waste of money that it does not have. The DA stands categorically opposed to Eskom’s transparent attempt to hide the rotting underbelly of its procurement processes and the associated contracts. We hope the courts are going to see through this cover up and order the release of the diesel and coal contracts.