The utility was responding to recent speculation about a R5bn payment it had mistakenly made to a contractor.
Eskom said that a mistaken impression was created during a joint presentation to Parliament’s Appropriations Committee last week, where questions from members of Parliament had created an impression that Eskom had erroneously overpaid an unnamed contractor to the tune of R5bn, and that it was failing to recover the funds. An impression was also created that Eskom was concealing the identity of the contractor.
Group chief executive Andre de Ruyter had, however, told the committee that based on the available money, it was likely that Eskom would receive less than the R5bn.
Eskom’s contract with formerly Gupta-family owned Tegeta Resources & Exploration was concluded years ago and was set aside by the high court earlier this year.
Eskom was participating in the business rescue proceedings to recover the funds.
De Ruyter told the committee last week that the utility was aware “that we have an obligation to recover monies that were paid incorrectly and unlawfully to various organisations, and we are working closely with the SA Revenue Service, Special Investigation Unit, Hawks, the JSE for those companies that are listed on the stock exchange, and the head of investigations at the office of the National Director of Public Prosecutions.”
He said Eskom was seeking to recover some R600million that was unlawfully paid to Trillian, which was in a partnership with McKinsey & Co.
De Ruyter also said that seven coal suppliers had been identified, who in Eskom’s opinion, were charging too much for the coal that they supplied to the utility.
“We have commenced negotiations with these seven coal suppliers. And we are making good progress with these suppliers, and in due course we will be able to update the committee on these matters,” he said.
Eskom said yesterday that at this point, publicly airing any detail of these talks would have a detrimental outcome to Eskom’s interests. Parliament and the public would be updated on these and other matters as and when the talks progressed.
Tegeta had reached a R3.7bn coal supply agreement for Majuba power station with Eskom on March 10, 2015.