Eskom inquiry: Eskom signed R43m sponsorship deal with 'The New Age'

This is according to former Eskom executive Erica Johnson who resigned from the parastatal in 2014.

Picture: EWN

CAPE TOWN - Parliamentarians have been told Eskom signed a dubious multi-year R43 million sponsorship deal with _The New Age _newspaper while grappling financial constraints.

This is according to former Eskom executive Erica Johnson who resigned from the parastatal in 2014.

Johnson was briefing Parliament’s Public Enterprises portfolio committee about questionable procurement processes under acting CEO Collin Matjila.

Matjila filled the leadership void at the parastatal for several months after Brian Dames stepped down and he was replaced by Tshediso Matona, who also appeared before the committee on Tuesday.

Johnson says in 2014, Matjila was instrumental in sealing a deal with The New Age Newspaper to sponsor business breakfast events.

But what began as a one-year contract ballooned into a three-year package.

“The FD (Financial Director) at the time refused to sign it. The interim CEO went ahead and signed the contract."

Johnson told lawmakers Matjila’s decision to sign the contract was flagged internally as an “irregular activity”.

“This was then picked up in October/November 2014 after our half-yearly audit as an irregular activity.”

Until the controversial Gupta family began selling their assets in South Africa, they owned The New Age newspaper.