CAPE TOWN, November 17 – South African power utility Eskom announced on Thursday, that it has adopted a plan to rebuild governance and the company’s integrity.
“We have adopted a five-path plan to rebuild a robust governance process and preserve our core value of integrity. This includes strengthening our general internal ethics and fraud framework, where we have reviewed and approved our ethics and fraud management policy,” Eskom Interim Group Chief Executive Sean Maritz said.
“We have started on an education drive called ‘The Way’, for the Eskom Board, leadership and employees on their responsibilities towards ethical conduct and reporting.”
Maritz was speaking in Midrand during the last leg of the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) public hearings into the power parastatal’s tariff application request where the power utility is applying for 19.9 percent tariff hike.
He said the company’s Executive Committee has resolved to take bold action to shift the organisation’s reputation towards positive change.
Nersa has to date held public hearings countrywide to give the public an opportunity to have their voice heard on the power utility’s tariff increase request.
Eskom said the regulator’s public hearings have offered it an opportunity to share the merits of its one-year tariff application from April 2018 to March 2019.
Maritz said during the process, Eskom has shared an honest representation of its business as well as what it would require to remain on a firm operational footing.
“The fulfilment of these requirements will enable us to deliver on our primary mandate of providing electricity in an efficient and sustainable manner while we continue to play an important role in sustaining the economy of South Africa.”
Maritz said Eskom is also implementing independent audits on leadership where members of the Executive Committee, Divisional Executives, and Senior General Managers will undergo regular independent lifestyle and conflict of interest audits.
Eskom is also terminating all irregular supplier contracts and work.
“I can confirm that the McKinsey contract was terminated in July. The contract with Impulse International has been suspended, pending the outcome of a forensic investigation. There are no dealings with Trillian contractually or otherwise. A legal verification was instituted on McKinsey, Trillian, and Impulse after respective investigations conducted by independent investigators,” Maritz told the public hearing.
“Independent audits on the Tegeta contracts have been clarified as being within range of other similar contracts and all control gaps have since been tightened.”
The power utility said it is continuing with its intense debt collection strategy to recover unpaid debt from all customers, including Soweto and defaulting municipalities.
“Despite all the governance setbacks, we need to be reminded that this is a revenue application, and decisions made by Nersa are decisions that will impact the sustainability of Eskom and the ability to provide reliable electricity.
“I have full faith that Nersa will make the right decision for this country. I equally assure you that Eskom will move towards a successful future and free of corruption,” he said.
The Gauteng leg of public hearings that got underway on Thursday will conclude on Monday.
Nersa’s decision on the revenue application is expected on December 7.