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DA queries exorbitant executive bonuses at Eskom

The DA says it's unfair to ask customers to fork out when top management is earning so much.

Acting Eskom CEO Brian Molefe briefed the country on the utility's winter plan on 17 June 2015.

JOHANNESBURG - The Democratic Alliance (DA) says South Africans cannot be expected to pay more money for electricity while Eskom's top executives earn around R11 million in bonuses every year.

Eskom has applied for a 25,3 percent electricity tariff hike, of which about 12 percent has already been approved.

The utility says it needs more money to keep buying diesel, which is imperative to keep the lights on.

Public hearings will be held this week, before the national energy regulator decides whether or not to approve the price hike.

During a briefing held in Johannesburg today, the DA's shadow minister for public enterprises, Natasha Mazzone, says it's unfair to ask customers to fork out when the top bosses are earning so much.

"We are losing engineers and the people who actually know what is going on but they aren't earning enough; and yet top management and executives are earning bonuses worth over R11 million a year. How can that be fair?"

DA QUESTIONS THE INTEGRITY OF ESKOM'S ACTING CEO

At the same time, DA leader Mmusi Maimane says Eskom needs a CEO that will be 'frank' with South Africans about load shedding and where the utility is heading and says Brian Molefe has already misled the country.

Maimane has announced the DA's opposition to Eskom's application for an electricity price increase.

He also says Eskom needs a permanent head, whose sole duty is taking the state-owned utility forward.

Molefe's time is almost up after being seconded to Eskom for three months.

Despite his previous experience, also heading Transnet earlier this year, Maimane says Eskom needs a permanent CEO.

"We can't have a CEO whose job has not yet been confirmed by the state."

Maimane also emphasised that Molefe has not been honest with South Africans.

"He has been informing South Africans that there will be no load shedding but there is. I'd rather have a leader who is going to be frank with South Africans."

Molefe is expected to stay on in his acting position until the middle of next month unless the board and the public enterprises minister indicate otherwise.