Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown is demanding answers from the Eskom board after it spent R311 million on a project that was denied approval.
According to a letter obtained by City Press, Brown has expressed concerns after Eskom continued to fund its Back to Basics (B2B) Programme in the face of a clear thumbs down from the previous Public Enterprises Minister, Malusi Gigaba.
The programme is aimed at improving Eskom’s business processes involving engineering reliability and maintenance of the power utility’s assets, information technology, quality assurance, and promoting the safe and healthy lifestyle of employees.
“According to your letter, the board’s investment subcommittee has condoned the irregular expenditure amounting to R310 788 195 regarding the B2B Programme,” said Brown.
“As you are aware, section 51(1) of the PFMA [Public Finance Management Act] requires the board inter alia to take effective and appropriate steps to prevent irregular expenditure as well as disciplinary steps against any employee who makes or permits irregular expenditure,” the minister said.
Brown also pointed to the fact that the power provider spent a total of R2.55 billion on the project since 2014 and asked the board to clarify what benefits could currently be seen in the company that correlates to the amount being spent.