NEWS

State Capture Probe At Eskom To Start On Monday

One of four probes by Parliament into state capture gets underway, starting with the power utility.

24/07/2017 07:35 SAST | Updated 24/07/2017 08:50 SAST
Mike Hutchings / Reuters
The logo of state power utility Eskom is seen outside Cape Town's Koeberg nuclear power plant in this picture taken March 20, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Hutchings

A probe into state capture at Eskom is set to begin in Parliament on Monday, the Cape Times reported on Monday. Acting chairperson of the public enterprises portfolio committee, Zukiswa Rantho confirmed this to the Cape Times on Sunday.

This is just one of four probes into Eskom. House chairperson Cedric Frolick reportedly ordered the committees of home affairs, energy and transport to investigate state capture, too.

The hearings follow a Rapport report that Eskom "bought" the Optimum coal mine for the Gupta family. The Gupta's Tegeta bought the company under controversial circumstances, but it has now been reported that another company, Pembani, initially wanted to purchase it and met more of the requirements for the purchase, but that deal was allegedly stopped by formed Eskom CEO, Brian Molefe.

A source close to the transaction told Rapport:

"There were two requirements to buy Optimum: the buyer had to provide proof that it had financing for the purchase price and that it had a contract to purchase the 4 million tons of coal that Optimum produces for the domestic market every year.

"Pembani had no problem with obtaining the financing, but couldn't get a contract with Eskom. They only had one meeting with Eskom, but Molefe himself told Pembani at the meeting held in December 2015 that Eskom would not conclude a contract with them."

The Cape Times reported that Monday's hearings would begin with testimony from the South African Council of Churches and the State Research capacity Project, which had released reports into state capture.

The committee has also reportedly sent letters to President Jacob Zuma's son, Duduzane and the Guptas summoning them to appear before it.

Last week, Eskom revealed its financial statements which showed that the power utility made a loss of R870 million. Nevertheless, its employees were reportedly given performance bonuses of nearly R90 000 each, News24 reported.

At a press conference, Eskom's CEO Anoj Singh insisted that Eskom had made a profit of R888 million, but it turned out that this was actually made by the Eskom Group, which includes other profitable companies besides the power utility.