Picture: REUTERS
Picture: REUTERS

The Department of Public Enterprises has dismissed calls by Cosatu that it should dissolve the Eskom board and probe it for alleged wasteful expenditure.

The union federation said on Tuesday that myriad administrative and governance issues, including a cash crisis at the power utility, as reported by the Sunday Times at the weekend, made a mockery of the ANC’s commitment that it would ensure state-owned enterprises were powerful instruments of economic transformation.

However, Department of Public Enterprises spokesman Colin Cruywagen accused Cosatu of not being "truthful" in its assertion, saying Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown had recently "rotated" the Eskom board, appointing four new members and, "in the interest of continuity", keeping three from the previous board.

In a statement on Tuesday, Cosatu spokesman Sizwe Pamla said it wanted answers regarding the finding of audit firm KPMG that Eskom paid an inflated advance of R600m to Chinese firm Dongfang to provide a new boiler at Duvha power station in Mpumalanga.

It also emerged this week that Eskom belatedly included Impulse on its supplier database after revelations that former Eskom CEO Matshela Koko’s stepdaughter owned shares at the company. Impulse received a number of contracts from Eskom under Koko’s tenure in different executive capacities.

Koko agreed to go on special leave while a legal firm probed a possible conflict of interest.

Cosatu said it was concerned about the lack of accountability at Eskom.

"The federation is worried that no one has so far been held responsible for the leadership bungling and the stench of corruption that has surrounded Eskom recently," Pamla said.

Cruywagen said the minister had already announced she would request the Special Investigating Unit to investigate.

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