WATCH | ‘There aren’t enough people in orange uniforms’: Gordhan on greed and corruption at Eskom

08 November 2023 - 19:03
Public enterprises minister Pravin Gordhan says corruption at Eskom remains worrisome. File photo.
Image: Freddy Mavunda Public enterprises minister Pravin Gordhan says corruption at Eskom remains worrisome. File photo.

Public enterprises minister Pravin Gordhan says corruption continues to endanger Eskom and ringleaders who milked the entity of millions of rand in fraudulent tenders have yet to face the music.

Gordhan was briefing the standing committee on public accounts (Scopa) on Tuesday about the implementation of chief justice Raymond Zondo's state capture report recommendations on addressing corruption at the entity. The report flagged millions of rand that was irregularly paid out to various suppliers, some which supplied Eskom with poor quality coal.

Gordhan said a “culture of corruption” at Eskom remained a challenge and that despite efforts made to tackle crime, the fight was far from over. 

“Rooting out the culture of corruption both within Eskom and among businesses that do work with them is still a challenge. There seems to be no limit to the greed that permeates the whole ecosystem,” he said. 

Eskom’s forensic and anti-corruption department report tabled to Scopa said there were 371 cases of fraud and corruption being probed, with 116 of those reported from April.

“Corruption is going to carry on unless law enforcement and the prosecuting authority put the real ringleaders behind bars. Whether one likes it or not, there aren’t enough people in orange uniforms at this point. That kind of culture and way of doing business continues,” Gordhan said. 

Eskom's report highlighted that 34 high-risk employees were reported to the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) after it conducted lifestyle audits on senior managers.

The entity is battling to recover R734m it lost to Tegeta Exploration and Resources company which supplied it with reject coal.

“Tegeta is in business rescue. The SIU has instituted proceedings against Tegeta for just and equitable relief to repay the sum of R734m to Eskom. The BRPs [business rescue practitioners] have opposed the relief sought. Eskom filed a notice to abide by June 2021. This matter is being driven by the SIU and remains ongoing,” the report read. 

Eskom said it wanted to recover R3.8bn from several former Eskom directors and executives as a result of state capture. It is pursuing cases against former Eskom board member Mark Pamensky, former CEO Brian Molefe, former finance boss Anoj Singh and former acting CEO Matshela Koko.