'Definitely room to further investigate Eskom’s state of affairs'

Dentons was appointed to investigate what led to a complete blackout in the country in 2008, costing the economy billions.

Picture: EWN

JOHANNESBURG – Law firm Dentons says there’s definitely room for further investigation of Eskom’s state of affairs and has confirmed the power utility stopped the probe citing budget constraints as one of the reasons.

Dentons was appointed to investigate, among other issues, what lead to a complete blackout in the country in 2008, costing the economy billions of rand.

Eskom suddenly stopped the investigation after a draft report was tabled to the board with the probe - at that stage costing R20 million.

The utility has denied reports that it sanitised the outcome of the investigation, saying it first wanted to deal with the findings internally.

Dentons Managing Director Noor Kapdi says Eskom stopped the investigation explaining that the findings were more or less what they expected them to be and didn’t want to go ahead in order to save money.

“Are we entirely satisdfied with it as investigators? Guess you never are, and which areas specifically, quite frankly, all areas. It was an intense but short investigation.”

But energy expert Chris Yelland says this was a bad move.

“You don’t know what you don’t know and you therefore may need to do an investigation properly to get to the bottom of some of these issues.”

Eskom says if it disclosed the report to the public in 2015 it would not have been able to turn around the dire situation at Eskom.

REPORT IS FLAWED

Yellend has described Eskom’s briefing to clarify why a report into the state of affairs at the parastatal was not released, as primitive action to minimise the fallout from its findings.

Yellend says he believes this was done to protect certain individuals.

“It certainly appears that certain people are being protected. That is the impression that it gives and I think Eskom has notably failed today, to take the public into its confidence.”

Eskom chairperson Ben Ngubane says 13 of the 18 recommendations made by Dentons have already been implemented.

Ngubane says the report could not be released in 2015 as Eskom feared it would have had an impact on the already high quote.

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)