Cash-strapped Eskom in R43m New Age briefing deal

2014-10-24 10:08

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Eskom interim chief executive Collin Matjila has stirred controversy at the power utility over a R43-million contract to sponsor The New Age’s breakfast briefings.

The new contract commits the cash-strapped power utility to sponsor around one of the newspaper’s breakfast briefings a month for three years, the Mail and Guardian’s AmaBhungane investigative unit reported.

Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown reportedly confirmed that she had been approached with concerns about Matjila’s approval of the contract.

“I don’t make the decisions, and I wouldn’t tell anyone you must not charge or suspend someone,” Brown was quoted as saying.

The Eskom board’s probe into the matter was ongoing, she said.

Eskom board chairperson Zola Tsotsi said the situation should not be “prejudged”.

“It’s a little premature to comment until I get feedback ... to tell me what they [the subcommittee] uncovered.”

The contract apparently overshot Eskom’s sponsorship budget and allegedly did not contain an exit clause, which the parastatal’s lawyers allegedly raised concerns about prior to Matjila’s approval of the contract.

Acting group commercial executive Matshela Koko said the TNA contract was part of Eskom’s “continuing relationship” with the company, which predated Matjila’s tenure as interim chief executive.

Spokesperson for the Gupta family – the owners of TNA – Gary Naidoo said: “This contract was negotiated not with the then acting chief executive, but with the functional executives at Eskom and Nazeem Howa, TNA chief executive”.

He would not provide details “of a hard-won deal with a competitor”, ie the Mail and Guardian, and declined to comment on the Gupta’s relationship with Matjila.

Matjila could not be reached for comment.

In his mid-term budget on Wednesday, Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene announced plans to raise at least R20 billion to help Eskom deal with its R225 billion cash-flow gap.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.