Gordhan’s Treasury rakes Eskom over the coals

Eskom resisted efforts by Treasury to co-operate with the process of reviewing the power utility’s coal contracts, the ministry said in a statement on Monday.

“To date, not only has Eskom failed to honour its undertaking to submit comments to Treasury’s report, but it chosen to ignore correspondence and put all forms of hindrances,” National Treasury said.

It was responding to Eskom’s statement on Sunday suggesting that it has been co-operating with the process of reviews of the coal contracts.

“The National Treasury would like to categorically state that, its efforts have met resistance.”

Treasury said that, since April, it made several attempts to get information from Eskom including:

  • Sending a report to the Eskom CEO Brian Molefe and chairperson Ben Ngubane and a request for comment on it.
  • Granting an extension that Eskom requested to provide the comments.
  • A request for Eskom to submit a system generated list of payments made to Tegeta and invoices received from Tegeta for the period 1 September 2015 to 30 April 2016.
  • A letter by National Treasury director general Lungisa Fuzile, requesting that Eskom withdraw its statement suggesting that “all the Tegeta coal contracts with Eskom have been extensively audited by various agencies, including National Treasury,” when clearly that was not the case.

“Minister Pravin Gordhan escalated the matter to … Ngubane, raising concerns about advance payments made to Tegeta and failure to submit the information requested in relation to the matter,” it said.

“To date, not only has Eskom failed to honour its undertaking to submit comments to Treasury’s report, but it chosen to ignore correspondence and put all forms of hindrances.”

Eskom said in a statement on Sunday that it has repeatedly provided information to the National Treasury.

“Eskom continues to co-operate with the National Treasury on its investigations of the coal contracts,” it said. “Contrary to the allegations made by the Sunday Times today, the National Treasury has not issued any conclusive findings against Eskom on any of these contracts.”

“Eskom disputes that it has received out of specification coal worth more than R134m from Tegeta, and we have provided the documentation to that effect to the National Treasury.”

“In addition, the Department of Water and Sanitation issued Tegeta with a water use licence on 22 December 2014 (copy attached). The spurious allegations by the Sunday Times, which have are being continuously regurgitated, are therefore wholly incorrect, mischievous and misleading.”

Treasury said it was also surprised by media reports of Tegeta “warning” and threatening to interdict the department should it release a report into its investigation of Eskom’s coal contracts.

News24

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Gordhan’s Treasury rakes Eskom over the coals