Why all hell broke loose with Treasury - Molefe

Cape Town - Eskom CEO Brian Molefe said on Wednesday that the power utility's apparent war with National Treasury was "unfortunate", adding that it is all in the past.

He was speaking to Fin24 after addressing the Portfolio Committee on Public Enterprises where he assured the country that load shedding was a thing of the past.

In the interview, Molefe touched on five key issues, from its spat with National Treasury over an investigation into the Gupta-owned Tegeta coal contracts, to nuclear and renewable energy and the post of finance minister.

Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown, on Tuesday, requested that documents be sent to Treasury after it claimed that Eskom failed to honour its undertaking to submit comments to Treasury’s review of Eskom's coal contracts.

Molefe suggested that it was a "misunderstanding" with Treasury.

"Treasury sent a set of questions several times in the past - since July of 2015 - that we have responded and then in April", he said.

However, this time Treasury requested that the questions be discussed with Eskom's board before it responds.

"So we were in the process of going to the board on the 21 September and suddenly we saw the matter in the newspaper and I think all hell broke loose and the rest as the say is history.

"But I think it is something that we can put behind us. It was a misunderstanding. We have since provided all the information without board approval because of the way it eventually came out and we hope that it resolves the matter," said Molefe.

Watch the full interview

When responding to parliamentarians questions, Molefe said that according to the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA), Eskom cannot blacklist doing business with Tegeta without giving clear evidence of wrongdoing by the Guptas. 

“Not to do business with Tegeta would require us to blacklist the company,” he said. “There is a process with the PMFA. We would have to inform them that we can’t not do business with them and provide reasons why we can’t do business.

“Then I get labelled a Gupta person because I don’t want to break the laws of the land, because I cannot blacklist them without reasons.

“Until we can give reasons to blacklist them, if they bid for a transaction and apply for tender, we have to consider them,” he said.

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