Eskom given 48hr ultimatum for Trillian report

Johannesburg - Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown has given Eskom two days to table a report explaining payments and business relations related to the Gupta-linked Trillian firm.

The Eskom board convened a meeting on Tuesday to resolve issues around both the Trillian and McKinsey controversies that have been dogging the state utility for months.

The minister's spokesperson Colin Cruywagen said Brown had asked Eskom's board as far back as June to clarify its business with Trillian.

"Following further revelations of impropriety yesterday (Monday) she has instructed the board to table its report in 48 hours," he said, but didn't want to add any details of the action the minister was contemplating, saying the minister didn't want to pre-empt the report.

The minister's ultimatum comes after Eskom head of legal Suzanne Daniels admitted on Monday that the power utility had lied about receiving the all clear from global consultancy Oliver Wyman over payments to the Gupta-linked Trillian firm.

The consultancy pressured Eskom to come clean after it initially claimed that a R1.6bn payment to Trillian and McKinsey was above board.

Eskom said its board would consider all matters pertaining to McKinsey and other topical issues in a scheduled meeting on Tuesday afternoon.

“The main objective of the meeting is to find a lasting solution to stem the negative coverage in order to begin a journey to curve out a path towards brand restoration,” explained Zethembe Khoza, Eskom's acting chair.

He added that more details would be disclosed after the meeting, including actions taken and decisions made.  

“The stubborn negative coverage and general stakeholder dissonance are deeply concerning. As board, we have been ceased (sic) with a great deal of work, internally, to correct the situation. We draw comfort in the progress we have made thus far,” said Khoza.

Khoza stated that his board is not going to tolerate any proven wrongdoing, by whoever might be involved.

Daniels said on Monday appropriate steps would be taken against anyone responsible for the misleading Oliver Wyman statement in question, but added that what those steps would be could not be divulged at this point. Eskom didn’t want to elaborate on who put out the false statement.

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