Eskom not commenting on Gupta coal contract

BY CHARL BOSCH - FEBRUARY 2, 2016

Power utility Eskom has reportedly refused to comment on a weekend newspaper report that it had awarded a coal tender, worth R4-billion, to a company owned by the government connected Gupta family.

This follows a follow-up article in the Sunday Times which alleged that the company, Tegeta Explorations and Resources, had on four previous occasions applied for the contract to supply coal to the Majuba Power Station for a period of ten years.

It was however reported last year that poor quality led to the rejection of the applications, and that four Eskom executives were later suspended for raising the matter. According to the paper, the contract was subsequently given to Tegeta after the completion of a fifth test, but abruptly terminated last month due to quality problems.

“We do not actively go out to the media and say who has applied. But if those companies feel strongly and go out and say they have applied, then that’s their choice. From our side, it’s a business decision not to mention anyone at this stage,” Eskom spokesperson Khulu Phasiwe was quoted by Eyewitness News as saying.

In a statement, Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) national spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi said a recent visit to Switzerland by Minerals and Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane as part of a Tegeta delegation, proves that South Africa has become “a Gupta republic”.

“Zwane is nothing but a stooge of the Gupta family which he has served for many years. His appointment (last year) has nothing to do with the collective and developmental interests of the people of South Africa. He serves the the pleasure of the Guptas and will do so to the end,” Ndlozi said.