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Gupta coal: “Min. Brown not being honest about details” - DA

Gupta coal: “Min. Brown not being honest about details” - DA

The Democratic Alliance (DA) has accused Public Enterprises Minister, Lynne Brown, of hiding what it deems as crucial information regarding the awarding of a coal tender to a company owned by the government connected Gupta family.

Last month, a weekend newspaper article revealed that the company, Tegeta Exploration & Resources, had been given a ten year R2-billion deal to supply the Majuba Power Station near Amersfoort in Mpumalanga with coal, despite it being rejected on four previous occasions due poor quality. It was also reported that a number of senior company members were suspended after questioning this.

Power utility Eskom has however denied reports that any regulations were flouted when it awarded the tender to Tegeta.

Speaking in a statement, DA Shadow Minister of Public Enterprises Natasha Mazzone said Brown, in response to a Parliamentary questions, confirmed the awarding of the tender to Tegeta but stopped short providing ay deals having cited it as “commercially sensitive”.

“Instead of hiding the details of the contract, Minister Brown ought to adopt a transparent approach and prove to South Africans that the contract with Tegeta Exploration and Resources is above board,” Mazzone said.

“The Minister must appear and table the full and uncensored contract agreement between Eskom and Tegeta Exploration and Resources, and show Parliament that the price paid for the supply of coal is a fair market value, and that the quality of coal supplied is not substandard or compromised in any way”.

She also stated that the recent controversies surrounding the family, including the chartering of a private jet for Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa’s visit to Japan last month, the landing of a private plane at the Waterkloof Air Force Base last year and large amounts of state spending in the family’s New Age newspaper, shows that government had put the family’s interest before those of South Africans.

“The Guptas cannot be allowed to make an illegitimate profit from our country’s current electricity crisis. Rather, the ANC should be more than willing to prove that the contracts are fair and justifiable,” Mazzone said.

“Our country can ill-afford to have them or any other politically-connected individuals making a killing on the back of ordinary, hardworking and already pressurised South Africans”.