[ALERT] McKinsey to repay Eskom fees even if court finds contract valid

Members of Parliament have been told that advisory firm McKinsey is prepared to repay the money it got from Eskom because the company does not want 'tainted money'.

FILE: McKinsey & Company. Picture: Facebook

CAPE TOWN - Members of Parliament have been told that advisory firm McKinsey is prepared to repay the money it got from Eskom because the company does not want "tainted money".

McKinsey senior partner David Fine has informed Parliament's Public Enterprises portfolio committee that the company will repay the money even if a court finds the contract with Eskom was valid.

The global management consulting firm earned R1 billion in fees from the state-owned power utility, while its partner company Trillian banked around R500 million.

Fine's commitment to repay the billion rand fee, irrespective of the court outcome, appears to be a slight departure from the company's initial stance on the matter.

“It doesn’t matter whether or not the contract was valid or not, we will give that money back to South Africa.”

Last month, the company said that a court should review the contract and that it would repay the money if the deal was found to be unlawful.

Fine says the question around who gets the money is the real issue that needs clarity.

“What we want to avoid is paying the money twice. So, at the moment we have received a letter saying the contract was invalid and we should pay the money. So, do we pay the money to Eskom or do we pay the money to the South African citizens?”

He's explained that McKinsey began its relationship with Eskom in good faith, so it believed the company when officials claimed to have National Treasury’s approval for the deal.

McKinsey has come under fire for its relationship with Trillian, a company formerly owned by Gupta associate Salim Essa.

The Gupta brothers and their business allies are accused of using their influence in government and state-owned enterprises to score lucrative contracts.