Minister Brown ready to act on Treasury report on Eskom
The minister says she will act against Eskom if the report shows any wrongdoing in its dealings with Tegeta.
JOHANNESBURG - Public Enterprise Minister Lynne Brown says action will be taken against Eskom if Treasury's investigation shows that there was wrongdoing in relation to a coal contract with Gupta-owned company Tegeta.
It follows Treasury's statement this week that its attempts to review the coal contracts have met resistance despite the fact Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan has escalated the request for information about the contracts to Eskom chairperson, Ben Ngubane.
Brown says she has instructed the state utility to deliver the documents yesterday so that Treasury can complete its review into the contract, after allegations surfaced that the coal was of sub-standard quality, and that money was paid to the Gupta-owned company in advance.
Eskom says the documents were delivered to National Treasury yesterday afternoon, even though it had requested months ago extra time to compile its responses.
Minister Brown says she has no knowledge about whether or not payments were made in advance to Tegeta or the quality of the coal as these are operational issues.
She says she will act based on Treasury's final report.
"If there is any untoward action, then we will act on it. Because there is no way, the stuff that's in the media, I can verify. I now am needing the proof."
Brown says Eskom has assured her that it followed the same processes with Tegeta as it did with other coal mines signing new contracts.
MINISTERS MUST MEET TO WORKOUT TREASURY, ESKOM STANDOFF
The African National Congress (ANC) national working committee (NWC) says the ministers of finance, public enterprises and energy must meet urgently to resolve the disputes between Eskom and the Treasury.
ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe says he and Trevor Manuel have the same opinion on the issue.
"I agree with him that calling ministers under one roof, by a president, is the best solution. That is why we will do that but ultimately we will refer whatever we discuss to the president."
Mantashe says the dispute has implications.
"It may look like just a disagreement between ministers, but when it is in the public domain it dents the confidence of society on the state and its institutions to be able to deal with problems that they must be dealing with."
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President Jacob Zuma is currently out of the country and is due back next week.