Inside EWN Roundtable: The implications of corruption at Eskom
A panel discusses the progress being made into Andre de Ruyter's corruption allegations at Eskom.
JOHANNESBURG - Eskom has remained dominant in South Africa’s news agenda with regular updates on load shedding, the musical chairs regarding the utility's CEO position and now the corruption and sabotage scandal.
In recent reports, Eskom denied that it offered security company Fidelity a R500 million contract without following the correct procurement processes. The allegations were that the security company procured the three-month security tender in 2022 without any competitive bidding, while Eskom said that it was an emergency procurement after it received information of a potential security threat to its critical sites, adding that while the contract was for three months, only R250 million was spent.
During an Inside EWN Roundtable discussion, Eyewitness News senior reporter, Lindsay Dentlinger, explained where the Standing Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa) was with its hearings into Andre de Ruyter's allegations of corruption at Eskom.
Energy analyst Adil Nchabeleng, who was also part of the discussion, said that the private report on corruption at Eskom should be welcomed by all South Africans because it is an intelligence-based report and it focuses on issues that could have been missed on a normal basis.
“It is one of the highest level of crime in the country and it should be brought to full access for the public to know all that was covered by those implicated and how it has affected the country’s energy.”
While the absence of a representative from Eskom made it hard for the discussion to learn of the true state of the power utility amidst the corruption and sabotage allegations, panelists looked back at some of the important historical points that contributed to the crisis at the entity.
Nchabeleng said that we need to go back to previous leaders who were alerted that South Africa would undergo worse bouts of power cuts in the future, but less was done to maintain the power plants and bring them into line with the standards that require them to function properly.
“The political interference of the ruling party into the power utility should lie in the hands of the ANC as they have done less to take up the mess at Eskom."
Speaking to issues of accountability, SIU spokesperson, Kaizer Kganyago, explained to the panel that it is difficult to assess how long it will take for the SIU to give feedback on the report.
"We have been investigating Eskom for a while now and we have to link the report to our own investigations. Also we've got another one of our own investigations that we will be doing looking into the maladministration into the utility."
He also added that they will get to the bottom of the report and investigate Eskom further as required by South Africans.
Listen to the full conversation below.