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In terms of a confidential settlement‚ Eskom has slashed to a tenth a nonperformance penalty of R2.1bn it had levied on Optimum Coal — now that it is owned by the Guptas. Eskom levied the fine on the then Glencore-owned coal supplier for what it said at the time were coal supplies failing to meet agreed specifications. It demanded payment and refused to negotiate the quantum‚ forcing Glencore to place it on business rescue‚ later selling it to the Gupta family. The utility went on to make significant discounts to the new owners‚ who are close associates of President Jacob Zuma and in business with his son Duduzane. On March 14‚ Eskom agreed to accept a payment of R255.4m from Optimum Coal‚ slashing its original claim 88.3%‚ according to a settlement document leaked to Business Day. This will be in equal monthly instalments starting in April and ending on December 31 2018‚ when the coal supply agreement comes to an end. Full story in Business Day   - TMG Digital

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