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Eskom refutes reports it’s cash-strapped

The Sunday Times is reporting that although the power utility is down to its last pennies it still wants bonuses to be paid out to axed CEO Brian Molefe.

Picture: EWN

JOHANNESBURG – Eskom has refuted reports that it has cash only to last it for the next three months with only R20 billion in its coffers.

The Sunday Times is reporting that although the power utility is down to its last pennies it still wants bonuses to be paid out to axed CEO Brian Molefe and suspended chief executive Matshela Koko among others.

This is apparently contained in Eskom’s latest financial statements which were supposed to be made public last week

The results will now be announced on Wednesday.

Eskom’s Khulu Phasiwe says, “Right now we’re actually in a better position than we were three years ago, and most importantly, in terms of our ability to raise money, so far in the current 2017/2018 financial year, we’ve raised 77% of the money that we require for the completion of our powers station.”

This week, concerns were raised about serious irregularities flagged by Eskom’s external auditors and the real reasons behind the postponement of Tuesday’s annual results.

The power utility says it wants to meet with all interested parties and unions about a range of issues, including the possibility of closing down four power stations before releasing its results.

Eskom says some of its stakeholders, particularly unions, have raised concerns about issues being made public before they are made aware of them.

Therefore, management decided to postpone integrated results announcement.

However, the Business Day reported that Koko will face disciplinary measures after irregularities were flagged involving contracts with a company that Koko’s stepdaughter is involved in.

External auditors also highlighted irregularities with regards to the re-appointment of Molefe earlier this year.

Energy expert Chris Yelland said he didn’t see the link between wanting further engagements with stakeholders and postponing the briefing.

“It really rings hollow that the real reason is that Eskom’s own auditors have reported Eskom to an audit regulator in respect of serious irregularities.”

Eskom said an announcement about Koko's fate will be made in due course, as an investigation into his conduct has been handed to the board and Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown.

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)