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Eskom heads the list of government departments and agencies seeking permission to deviate from normal procurement procedure, with the utility’s requests amounting to R31.3bn of the total R37bn worth of deviations requested in 2016-17. This raises new questions about governance at Eskom, which is in the throes of state-capture allegations centred on the Gupta family. Just last week Eskom demanded that consultancy firm McKinsey, with its partner, the politically connected Trillian consultancy, repay a total of R1.6bn in fees, saying the contract that facilitated this did not meet legal requirements.  It also comes at a time when acting chief procurement officer Willie Mathebula is said to be leading a bid to overturn regulations that compel state entities to seek permission from the Treasury when they want to deviate from normal tender processes. The procurement deviation was permissible for entities and departments in cases where goods or services were supplied in an emergency or whe...

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