Eskom spokesperson Sikonathi Mantshantsha said contracts with the power utility were criminally inflated to enrich certain people.
Speaking in an interview with eNCA, Mantshantsha referred to an Eskom briefing document which provided an update on the investigations into contractors who have been overpaid by R4 billion during the construction of Kusile power station.
The document listed five contracts, with the contractors’ names, which are involved in these investigations:
- ABB South Africa – R1 billion
- Tenova Mining and Minerals SA – R735 million
- Tubular Construction Projects – R1 billion
- Stefanutti Stocks Basil Read JV and Stefanutti Stocks Izazi JV – R1 billion
- Various site service contracts – R180 million
Eskom highlighted that the investigations by the SIU, Bowman Gilfillan and itself into these overpayments to the contractors involved is ongoing and is not complete at this stage.
Commenting on the issue, Mantshantsha said he wants to clarify that it was not money which was incorrectly paid out.
“The members of Parliament seem to think someone at Eskom made a mistake and paid R4 billion too much. This is not the case,” said Mantshantsha.
“The amounts for the work that was done was criminally inflated, and that is what we mean when we say Eskom overpaid. It was a term which was used loosely,” he said.
He said these contracts were negotiated by Eskom management about 4 or 5 years ago and that the current team believes they were criminally inflated to enrich certain people.
Eskom has laid charges against these people and some of them were arrested in December on one of the charges.
Mantshantsha said Eskom has started negotiations with the companies implicated in the corruption to claim back the money.
He added that the corruption extended well beyond Kusile, and that investigations of similar issues at Medupi and Ingula have also unearthed criminal activities.
“The people of South Africa has paid far too much, and Eskom has laid dozens of criminal charges against corrupt people over the past three years,” he said.
He said they are currently awaiting prosecutions related to these criminal charges.