Graft claims have tainted Eskom’s image, Brown admits
PUBLIC Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown yesterday acknowledged the charges of maladministration and corruption made against state-owned power utility Eskom.
Brown told the opening of the three-day POWER-GEN & DistribuTECH Africa summit in Sandton that none of the allegations had been proved. But Brown admitted that the allegations have tainted the image of the utility.
“None of the allegations have been proved in a court of law yet, but they have fundamentally eroded integrity. Certain matters are now in court, and I am constrained to say more about them,” she said.
Brown launched a probe into Eskom in May.
“I have also asked the new interim board of Eskom to conduct certain short-term investigations of their own and report to me with recommendations. There will be more announcements in this regard in due course about Eskom and other state-owned entities in my department’s portfolio.”
Brown said maladministration and corruption were enemies of radical economic transformation.
“Twenty-three years after apartheid, our country continues to suffer gross inequality from poverty and unemployment. My own view is that this: Mandela and his generational leaders laid a table with enough seats for all to be able to eat.
“Although we may not all agree on the specific means and precise terminology (radical economic transformation), there is broad society agreement with the ANC’s identification of the meaning to accelerate transformation – to take the national democratic revolution that was once a Mandela-led (revolution) to a more logical and just conclusion, to a South Africa that belongs to its people,” she said.
“Eskom is there to generate jobs and power, but its bigger role is to use its muscle to develop infrastructure to enable industrial growth.”
Willy Majola, the acting group chief executive of Eskom, said Eskom had improved its performance over the past year.
“We are saying to big business: we are open for business and let’s power the growth of the South African economy and the region.”
Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown says corruption and maladministration are enemies of radical economic transformation.