'Reckless, irresponsible' Eskom board slammed after parliament no-show

18 February 2020 - 15:16 By TimesLIVE
Eskom's board members were due to update parliament's standing committee on public accounts on Tuesday - but failed to arrive.
Eskom's board members were due to update parliament's standing committee on public accounts on Tuesday - but failed to arrive.
Image: Business Times

An angry standing committee on public accounts (Scopa) has lashed out at Eskom's board after it failed to appear at a scheduled meeting in parliament on Tuesday.

The Eskom board was meant to appear before the committee to present an update on the embattled power utility following a visit and recommendations made last year.

Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter and other executives were present at the meeting. Now Scopa wants the board to explain its no-show.

"The committee is concerned with the reckless, irresponsible and careless manner in which the board elected not to appear before it as there was no apology and no explanation sent to the committee," said committee chair Mkhuleko Hlengwa in a statement.

"This is very concerning to Scopa, as the board is the accounting authority. Furthermore, this is an interim board tasked with assisting Eskom to turn things around." 

Hlengwa described the no-show as "inexcusable and unacceptable", adding that it "exposes the fact that there is no proper oversight at Eskom".

At the meeting, EWN reported, Hlengwa accused Eskom interim chair Prof Malegapuru Makgoba and other board members of dereliction of duty.

“It's unacceptable that the board is not here. Whatever considerations were given, they should have been communicated to myself prior.”

De Ruyter said that while maintenance meant load-shedding was likely for the next 18 months, it would ensure a more reliable energy supply in the future.

A follow-up meeting has been scheduled for March 4 at 6pm.

Eskom spokesperson Sikonathi Mantshantsha said: "There was no intention on the part of Eskom to ignore the authority of parliament. The chairman, Prof Makgoba, will be in contact with the chairman of Scopa."


X