Guptas strong-arm Eskom to back illegal mine

2014-07-06 11:34
Atul Gupta (Photo: Felix Dlangamandla)

Atul Gupta (Photo: Felix Dlangamandla)

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

Cape Town - The politically connected Gupta family is allegedly putting pressure on Eskom chairperson Zola Tsotsi to approve a R500m Idwala Coal contract – despite management opposing the move.

According to the Sunday Times, this comes after a confidential report signed by three senior Eskom officials states that Idwala’s “illegal” mining has made the deal too risky for Eskom. 

Idwala Coal Crypts, which is co-owned by the Guptas, is an illegal mine in a wetland in Mpumalanga, and continues to break environmental laws despite being ordered to clean up its act last year.

The newspaper reports that Atul Gupta has put pressure on Tsotsi to get the deal approved. A source familiar with the issue said the Guptas had informally raised concerns with cabinet ministers about Eskom’s failure to sign the deal.

The issue of the rogue mining operation, which is also linked to Duduzane Zuma, President Jacob Zuma’s son, came to light late last year when it emerged that Idwala had been operating illegally for the past three years and that national government simply turned a blind eye.

At the time, it was reported that Idwala had not only illegally diverted a public road but also a river. It had also been mining without a water license, destroyed a wetland and allegedly owed subcontractors millions of rands.

In documents sent to the department of environmental affairs Idwala admitted to breaking the law. They had applied for “rectification” - a request to continue mining despite breaking the law.

Questions however once again surfaced over the Guptas' abilities to blatantly flout the law - especially as this revelation came only a few days after three senior South African National Defence Force (SANDF) members appeared in court on charges relating to the landing of a private aircraft at the Waterkloof Air Force Base.

The jet was carrying Gupta-wedding guests from India.
Read more on:    eskom  |  sandf  |  atul gupta  |  duduzane zuma  |  mbombela  |  mining

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.
NEXT ON NEWS24X 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

Competition regulation for a growing and inclusive economy

ADVERTORIAL: The Competition Commission of South Africa is conducting advocacy work in the South African automotive aftermarket industry and has gazetted a Draft Code of Conduct for public comment.

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.