World

Eskom bosses want heads to roll over R4bn overpayments

Johannesburg – Eskom wants the heads of its officials and companies implicated in the overpayment of R4 billion in various projects at the power utility to roll.

Eskom said it has roped in the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) to probe the overpayments to several companies.

The standing committee on public accounts (Scopa) added that every official and company involved must be held accountable.

Scopa chairperson Mkhuleko Hlengwa said it wants Eskom, the National Prosecuting Authority, the Hawks and the SIU to dig into the rot at the power utility. He said the R4bn in overpayments was unjustifiable.

“It is precisely to reach the Eskom process that we ask these questions and we probe these matters so that we are in a position to fix Eskom.

’’That is the ultimate goal, to fix Eskom to be a viable entity so that the system is protected from corruption. We are not apart with Eskom. Ours is to exert the necessary pressure to set Eskom on the right direction,” he said.

He said Scopa expects Eskom to take decisive action on corruption and rope in law enforcement agencies.

“We will hold Eskom accountable to its commitments and responsibility. That must not be lost. Our understanding does not exempt Eskom from accountability,” said Hlengwa.

Eskom chief executive Andre de Ruyter said it has gone to court to recover the R4bn in overpayments.

“One company was overpaid R1bn and another overpaid another R1bn. Two other companies were overpaid R1bn each,” said De Ruyter.

He said it has charged 11 people for corruption with the NPA processing the cases in court.

SIU head Andy Mothibi said they were working closely with Eskom to get to the bottom of the cases.

“As we reported, chairperson, there is a few cases before us,” Mothibi told Scopa.

The SIU said the cases were in various stages of investigations. Some were close to being finalised, said Mothibi. It was also helping Eskom recover the money through the legal action taken against those implicated in corruption at the power utility.

De Ruyter said it has registered some cases with the police and the Hawks, in separate processes from the civil action taken against individuals and companies involved.

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