Eskom probe to start on July 27

The Star Early Edition - - POLITICS - SIYABONGA MKHWANAZI

THE ACT­ING chair­per­son of the port­fo­lio com­mit­tee on public en­ter­prises will to­mor­row sift through doc­u­ments that have been re­ceived by MPs in the probe into Eskom.

This will de­ter­mine the amount of in­for­ma­tion that has been re­ceived by MPs.

Zuk­iswa Ran­tho said yes­ter­day she would spend to­mor­row go­ing through the doc­u­ments af­ter the com­mit­tee sent out let­ters to the wit­nesses.

The com­mit­tee had drafted the list of wit­nesses at its last meet­ing in June.

Ran­tho said the doc­u­ments would help shape some of the com­mit­tee’s dis­cus­sions when it con­venes later this month. She said they had set July 27 for the first meet­ing to be­gin with the in­ves­ti­ga­tion into Eskom.

The com­mit­tee drew up a list of sev­eral wit­nesses who would be able to shed light on some of the de­ci­sions taken by Eskom over the last few years.

MPs have ex­pressed con­cern about some of the is­sues af­fect­ing the power util­ity. Eskom has been un­der stern crit­i­cism over its han­dling of its in­ter­nal af­fairs.

The stand­ing com­mit­tee on public ac­counts (Scopa) hauled it over the coals re­gard­ing the Price­wa­ter­house­Coop­ers (PwC) re­port into coal con­tracts with the Gup­tas.

The con­tract is val­ued at more than R4.5 bil­lion and was crit­i­cised by PwC as flawed.

Scopa wasn’t the only com­mit­tee that was con­cerned about the state of af­fairs at Eskom. The public en­ter­prises com­mit­tee also raised se­ri­ous con­cern about its prob­lems and the way it re­hired Brian Molefe as chief ex­ec­u­tive.

The Molefe mat­ter was pend­ing in the courts. MPs had been alarmed af­ter Eskom had ini­tially paid Molefe R30 mil­lion in a pen­sion pay­out.

The of­fer was re­jected by Public En­ter­prises Min­is­ter Lynne Brown, and Molefe’s reap­point­ment was thrown out by the cabi­net.

This fol­lowed the in­ter­ven­tion of the in­ter­min­is­te­rial task team set up by Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma to re­solve the mat­ter.

Eskom is one of sev­eral state-owned en­ti­ties that have been af­fected by state cap­ture.

Zuma has promised to set up a com­mis­sion of in­quiry into state cap­ture, and the ANC agreed to this at its pol­icy con­fer­ence in Nas­rec last week.

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