Gupta firm in coal row with Eskom
Eskom is scrambling to source enough coal to feed one of the country’s major power stations after a dispute with its supplier‚ Gupta-owned Tegeta Exploration and Resources.
Leaked Eskom minutes published by the amaBhungane Centre for Investigative Journalism on Thursday revealed that Tegeta allegedly threatened to halt coal supplies unless the parastatal paid more per ton of coal.
Tegeta is owned by the Guptas‚ President Jacob Zuma’s son Duduzane and Trillian founder Salim Essa. It sources coal from the Optimum Coal Mine.
Eskom in turn‚ according to the minutes of a meeting last Friday‚ threatened legal action against Tegeta. Eskom spokesman Khulu Phasiwe said the power utility had “identified a risk in relation to insufficient coal at Hendrina Power Station” which supplies 2000MW of electricity. A forensic investigation into the situation is on the cards.
Tegeta’s attorney Gert van der Merwe said the company was supplying coal under “strenuous conditions” and‚ if they were unable to make a profit‚ could be forced to cut supplies to the power station.
amaBhungane’s story suggested that Tegeta may have been exporting coal from Optimum instead of supplying Eskom its full quota – placing the country’s electricity supply under strain.