Eskom denies claims of willing to pay double for coal to save Gupta mine

Eskom says it's not in the business of rescuing financially ailing businesses and merely expects suppliers to abide by their contractual obligations.

Picture: EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Eskom has denied media claims that it's willing to fork out more than double the rate it usually pays for coal in an effort to rescue Gupta-owned Optimum Coal Mine.

The mine is currently under business recue.

Eskom’s Khulu Phasiwe says the power utility is not in the business of rescuing financially ailing businesses and merely expects suppliers to abide by their contractual obligations.

Phasiwe says revising the contract with Gupta-owned Tegeta on coal supply will be tantamount to Eskom shooting itself on the foot.

He says Tegeta has a contract which it should abide to.

“From Eskom’s side, we don’t care who’s is going to own that mine. All we want is for that contract to be fulfilled which is the volumes of coal and the quality of coal that we have agreed on.”

Optimum mine was placed under business rescue after the Gupta family plunged it into deep financial crisis and even failing to play salaries and suppliers.

Meanwhile, Eskom itself is facing financial challenges, with Finance Deputy minister Mondli Gungubele last week telling Parliament that the utility needs at least R20 billion bailout to be viable.