Draft report on Eskom inquiry expected soon

The parliamentary inquiry sought to get to the bottom of state capture allegations at state-owned companies, starting with Eskom.

Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan briefs the media on 23 July 2018. Picture: Kayleen Morgan/EWN

CAPE TOWN - A much-anticipated first draft report on Parliament’s Eskom inquiry could be laid before the Public Enterprises Committee as soon as next week.

The inquiry sought to get to the bottom of state capture allegations at state-owned companies, starting with Eskom.

The committee says it hopes to adopt the final report by mid-September.

On Wednesday, Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan told the committee that there will be consequences for those implicated in a Judicial Commission of Inquiry into State Capture which is set to start next week.

Eskom has a new board and new executives, but it’s having to grapple with irregular expenditure which ballooned more than six-fold over the last financial year from R3 billion to R19.6 billion.

Gordhan has raised questions about auditors who condoned the expenditure.

He says while the power utility plans to reduce capital expenditure by R20 billion over the next year, it will impact on economic growth.

“At the moment, you are managing the past and the present and doing whatever you can to borrow money in order to have enough cash to meet your operational costs on the one hand, but also some of your investment costs as well.”

The Eskom board is expected to submit a new five-year strategy by the end of September.

Meanwhile, opposition Members of Parliament have bemoaned the slow pace at which criminal charges are being pursued against those implicated in state capture.

Parliament’s Public Enterprises Committee is expected to meet behind closed doors next week to discuss a draft report on its inquiry into Eskom.

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)