Numsa roasts Eskom over Molefe's R30 million windfall
National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) leader Irvin Jim has berated Eskom for its parting payment of R30.1 million to former chief executive Brian Molefe‚ saying the parastatal must account for it.
Molefe spent only 18 months at the power utility and resigned in November 2016 after former public protector Thuli Madonsela’s "State of Capture" report revealed his curious relationship with the Gupta family. At the weekend‚ he told the Sunday Times that he had been paid "what was due" to him‚ but refused to give a figure.
"The board of Eskom and government must account for on what basis would this [amount] be justified. It is shocking because there has been a deepening crisis on all the SOEs (state owned enterprises). We have a weakness in the serious growth of cronyism and corruption ... be it tenders or a particular trend of handshakes that this government has allowed itself to continue with‚" Jim told TMG Digital on Wednesday.
"He can't get paid from the taxpayers’ money. Surely this must be rejected and must be condemned and we are calling for that board to account and the ministry must come out and tell us what has taken place‚" he added.
Jim suggested it had become fashionable in South Africa for boards of SOEs to be aligned to factions in power‚ adding that parastatals had become "milking cows for particular individuals who are powerful in the state". That‚ he said‚ must stop.
He said that Numsa wanted all parastatal boards to be reconstituted and said that civil society must be part of them.
TMG Digital understands that the board of Eskom had a meeting at the utility's head office in Johannesburg on Tuesday‚ following the Sunday Times expose.
Furthermore‚ Public Enterprise Minister Lynne Brown met with Eskom chairman Ben Ngubane on Wednesday at the very same venue. However‚ it was not immediately clear exactly what was on the agenda.
Brown’s spokesman‚ Colin Cruywagen‚ confirmed that the meeting took place on Wednesday but said Molefe's payout was not the reason for the meeting.
"I can tell you that the minister met with the chairperson of the board‚ Dr Ben Ngubane‚ today as part of the normal engagements and interactions with chairpersons‚" he said.
Spokesman for the Eskom board Khulani Qoma failed to respond to email and phone questions sent to him since Monday.
Public protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane has received two complaints about the hefty payment. “The complaints are being assessed for jurisdiction and merit. Only after this process can the Public Protector be in a position to say if she will be investigate or not‚" said her spokesman‚ Oupa Segwale.
The complaints‚ which were received this week‚ came from the Democratic Alliance and the South African National Civic Organisation.