Picture: ISTOCK
Picture: ISTOCK

A mining expert has cast serious doubt on Eskom’s past accounts and has called for a full-scale, independent forensic audit of its finances.

"It is not possible to go forward without one," Mining and Energy Advisors partner Ted Blom said on Monday.

He made this assertion in his submission to the public hearing by the National Energy Regulator of SA (Nersa) on Eskom’s application for R66.6bn recovery under the regulatory clearing account.

Blom asked when Nersa was going to investigate the allegations in the report on state capture of former public protector Thuli Madonsela.

He found it astonishing that there was a R15bn variance of corporate costs — such as rentals and payroll — as was reflected in Eskom’s application.

He highlighted massive overexpenditure on capital projects such as Medupi, Kusile and Ingula, and estimated that as much as R1.3-trillion was missing from the utility. Among the "missing" billions estimated by Blom were R100bn in cost overruns in Medupi, R100bn in Kusile, R30bn in Ingula, R2bn in Optimum Coal, R3bn in the Eskom treasury and R1bn in the transmission unit.

He estimated that the correct price of electricity should be no more than 40c per kilowatt hour.

Blom insisted that current users of electricity could not be made to pay for past corruption and maladministration.