Gupta family denies claims of ‘dodgy’ Eskom tender

Weekend reports claim Eskom awarded a coal supply contract to a company owned by the controversial family.

FILE: The Sunday Times at the weekend reported that Tegeta Exploration and Resources had been trying to secure the deal since 2011, but was rejected because of substandard coal. Picture: Supplied.

JOHANNESBURG - The controversial Gupta family has strongly denied reports that Eskom awarded a dodgy coal supply contract to a company owned by them, despite failing quality tests.

The Sunday Times at the weekend reported that Tegeta Exploration and Resources had been trying to secure the deal since 2011, but was rejected because of substandard coal.

The publication says four of the parastatal's executives were suspended for questioning the deal.

It's alleged that the company was awarded the R4 billion contract to supply the Majuba Power Station in Mpumalanga over 10 years, after a fifth test conducted on its coal found the product to be marginal.

Speaking on behalf of the company, Nazeem Howa says there has never been a failure of four tests.

"Please note this reporter has sat in some dark corner and dreamt up some conspiracy. Our coal has consistently beaten the daily test. It was only in the month of August that we had some inconsistencies between our internal testing laboratory and the Eskom laboratory."

Howa says management has been in talks with the state owned company for four years before finally being given the green light to supply a 'very small portion' of Eskom's overall stock.

He says he's surprised by the media's focus on the company and incorrect reporting on this contract.

"We've been battling to get the supply agreement with Eskom, not based on any tests but purely on commercial terms, it's taken us four years to get there, which does question the statement that a politically correct family or company can get anything right in this country."

Eskom has not been available for comment.