Shortly after Eskom briefed the Portfolio Committee on Public Enterprises on its annual performance plan and financial report, during which the Committee welcomed investigations into misconduct at the utility, Eskom announced its group head of capital, Abraham Masango, has been cleared of all charges against him. Masango was suspended in November last year following a forensic investigation that alleged he was involved in serious misconduct.

Parliament welcomes Eskom cleanup“There were a number of allegations that were levelled against him. Primarily around allegations of him having received bribes at Kusile and Medupi Power Stations. But all of those things were put to the test and ultimately it was proven that there was no wrongdoing on his part,” said spokesperson Khulu Phasiwe.

“The Committee welcomes the ongoing investigation by Eskom into 239 cases of employee misconduct. The Committee is pleased to hear that punitive steps are being taken against employees who have been involved in acts of corruption,” it said in response to Eskom saying will be implementing lifestyle audits on employees.

The Chairperson for the Committee, Lungi Mnganga-Gcabashe, added that proper steps and action must be taken against contractors who are not compliant. “Consequence management needs to be enforced when processes are being flouted,” she said.

The Committee was equally cautious about the utility’s annual report, saying that Eskom has presented beautiful annual reports in the past, and yet now finds itself on the verge of collapse. It noted with concern the amount of R13.5bn that municipalities owe the power utility, in response to which Eskom appealed to the committee for intervention on this matter, as it is “beyond its control”. 

Since its appearance in front of the Committee, Eskom has announced that the board has approved a borrowing plan of R72-billion. This is necessary to ensure adequate liquidity, it said in a statement.

“Capital expenditure is being funded by debt. Since the appointment of the new board on January 20, investor sentiment has improved substantially. We are looking to leverage on this in future,” Acting Chief Financial Officer Calib Cassim said. “Financial and capital markets are starting to see changes in Eskom,” added deputy board chair Sindi Mabaso-Koyana at a press briefing.

Image credit: https://twitter.com/khuluphasiwe


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