Picture: REUTERS
Picture: REUTERS

Eskom has suspended its executive for the group capital division, Abram Masango, pending an investigation into various allegations of impropriety relating to the Kusile power station build project.

The utility announced the suspension on Friday morning ahead of a press briefing on the state of the national power system.

Eskom said it recognised Masango’s right to be presumed innocent, but, “given the serious nature of the allegations made against him and the seniority of his position in Eskom, the Eskom management took a decision to place him on suspension pending the outcome of the investigation”. 

The power utility remains in crisis and this week it confirmed 10 of its 15 coal-fired power stations are facing coal supply shortages.

It has again resorted to using costly diesel generators to avoid power cuts.

A number of executives resigned from Eskom earlier this year in what appeared to be part of clean-up efforts by the new Eskom board, installed in January.

They include those implicated in the public protector’s “State of Capture” report such as head of generation and former acting CEO Matshela Koko and CFO Anoj Singh.

On Friday, Eskom said the board and management were committed to investigating all allegations of impropriety involving Eskom and holding those involved accountable as part of restoring good governance in the organisation.

At a briefing on the state of the power system on Friday, Eskom CEO Phakamani Hadebe said that since the new board was installed in January this year, 1049 investigations have been launched, of which 822 were finalised.

In this time, 97 employees had exited and 250 were suspended without pay.

Hadebe said corruption at Eskom tended to have “very wide tentacles” and often involved a collection of people.

“I’m not saying this is the end of the road, it’s a journey we have to travel,” he said.

steynl@businesslive.co.za