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“Ramaphosa needs to explain Eskom-Gupta coal deal” - DA

“Ramaphosa needs to explain Eskom-Gupta coal deal” - DA

The Democratic Alliance (DA) has accused Deputy President, Cyril Ramaphosa, of putting the controversial Gupta family before South Africa after weekend media reported that Eskom awarded a coal tender worth R4-billion to a company owned by the family.

According to reports, the company, Tegeta Exploration, were given the deal to supply the Majuba Power Station for the next ten years, despite the quality of coal being rejected on four previous occasions. It was also reported that a number of senior company members were suspended after questioning the coal’s quality.

“It is incumbent on Cyril Ramaphosa, as head of government’s “war room” on the energy crisis, to provide a full and detailed explanation as to how this occurred under his watch, whether he was informed about the deal, and what role he played in ensuring it was rubberstamped,” DA Shadow Minister of Public Enterprises, Natasha Mazzone, said in a statement.

“From the chartering of Gupta-owned aircrafts and the infamous “Guptagate”, to inflated expenditure by government on advertisements in the Gupta-owned newspaper The New Age, one thing is clear, the Guptas come first, and South Africa comes second”.

She also added that the party would be submitting a number of questions to Ramaphosa regarding the Gupta’s involvement with Eskom and whether the correct tender procedures were followed.

In a reported interview with Eyewitness News (EWN), the director of an investment firm, owned by the family and the main shareholder in Tegeta, described the allegations as “dreamt up”.

“Our coal has consistently beaten the daily test. It was only in the month of August that we had some inconsistencies between our internal testing laboratory and the Eskom laboratory,” Nazeem Howa was quoted as saying.

“We’ve been battling to get the supply agreement with Eskom, not based on any tests but purely on commercial terms, it’s taken us four years to get there, which does question the statement that a politically correct family or company can get anything right in this country”.