Ramaphosa: Eskom and Transnet recovered R2.3bn lost through corruption

President Cyril Ramaphosa  [Photo: GCIS]
President Cyril Ramaphosa [Photo: GCIS]

So far state-owned enterprises Eskom and Transnet have recovered R2.3 billion that was lost through corruption, said President Cyril Ramaphosa.

The president was speaking in Parliament on Thursday, where he provided replies following a two-day debate on his state of the nation address.

Commenting on the erosion of institutions by state capture Ramaphosa said that government is determined to recover funds lost, no matter where in the world they might need to be tracked.

"Eskom and Transnet have recovered more than R2.3 billion in monies lost to corruption. We know this is just a fraction of what has been lost to state capture.

"We would like to see more monies lost being recovered, and they will be recovered," he said.

"We are determined that all those who have stolen from the people – and all those who continue to steal from the people – should face the full might of the law," Ramaphosa said.

The president added that the National Prosecuting Authority is being capacitated to tackle corruption – with over 800 new job posts being advertised.

Eskom officials who briefed the standing committee on public accounts this week said that to date 40 of its employees had been referred to the Hawks and the Special investigating Unit. There are currently 261 active cases under forensic investigation. There had been 59 dismissals linked to fraud and corruption by December 2019.

The power utility has also lodged a liquidation application and a contempt of court action against Gupta-linked Trillian and its director Eric Wood, to recover R595m owed to it.

Eskom has recovered R1.1 billion from McKinsey following a court ruling that the fees were unlawfully paid to the consultancy firm.

The power utility is still however in a legal battle with auditing and consulting firm Deloitte to recover R207 million. Eskom claims that the task orders to Deloitte were irregularly awarded without competitive bids. Deloitte is opposing the application and has denied any claims of association or involvement in state capture.

Technology company Impulse International is also claiming R81 million in unpaid invoices from Eskom. The power utility is defending this action and is filing a counterclaim for the original values of the contracts to be set aside. Impulse came into the spotlight back in 2017 when it was reported that the company secured nearly R1 billion worth of contracts in a period of 11 months – former acting CEO Matshela Koko's step daughter was a director of the company.

Eskom is also discussing a settlement to have an award to Dongfang, a manufacturing company, set aside. This after the Broad Based Black Economic Empowerment Commission in June last year found that the Chinese company, which was awarded a tender for a boiler at Duvha Power Station, did not meet B-BBEE requirements, Fin24 previously reported.

In May last year, Transnet board chairperson Popo Molefe told the judicial commission of inquiry into state capture that the state rail and freight company is in the process of recovering billions from directors and companies which benefitted from irregularly awarded contracts. This includes locomotive manufacaturer China South Rail which paid it R618 million.

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