The business rights watchdog AfriBusiness launched two applications in terms of the Promotion of Access to Information Act (PAIA), 2000 (Act No. 2 of 2000) requesting Eskom and SAP Systems to make information available pertaining to agreements for software and services provided to Eskom. This will enable the organisation to obtain some clarity regarding the irregular expenditure at Eskom.
The information requested is specifically focused on the appointment of Brian Molefe as Eskom’s Chief Executive Officer and the exuberant bonuses awarded to Eskom employees. The full description of services and/or management software provided to Eskom by SAP Systems, as well as the service level agreement between Eskom and Mckinsey & Company South Africa have also been requested.
“It is clear that Eskom has some questions to answer and we intend to get these answers to ensure transparency and accountability. If Eskom proceeds with its application to increase electricity tariffs by an astronomical 19,9%, AfriBusiness will object as consumers and businesses alike will have to bear the brunt,” says Charles Castle, Manager of AfriBusiness’s Labour Law Advice Unit.
Earlier this year AfriBusiness launched a similar application requesting documents pertaining to Eskom’s financing and facilitation of the infamous Gupta family’s purchase of Optimum Coal Mine from Glencore. Eskom, alleging third party confidentiality, did however not provide this information. The first mentioned PAIA applications will now run concurrently with the latter. “Should Eskom continue to refuse to provide the requested information, we will have no other option than to go to court,” Castle continues.
“Over the past couple of months, we have seen controversy after controversy unveiled at Eskom. Its initial denial and subsequent acknowledgement of corruption allegations and underhanded dealings raise many red flags. It is unfair that Eskom should be allowed to continue on this immoral path while expecting the consumer to pay for it through tariff hikes,” says Armand Greyling, Law and Policy Analyst at AfriBusiness.