The City Press has reported that a company hijacked boiler monitoring software developed, paid for, and piloted by Eskom – making the software the intellectual property of the power utility.
According to the report, a number of former Eskom employees cashed in on a R275-million boiler monitoring tender related to the software.
Eskom used this software and technology, which is now owned by Carab Technologies, to gather data and monitor the performance of its power station boilers.
Carab Technologies was dumped by Eskom in April 2018, and according to the report the current blackouts are linked to the decision to stop this irregular boiler management tender.
The initial boiler monitoring software tender was worth R275 million, but in September 2017 Treasury refused to extend the tender by another R70 million for two years.
Employees doing business with Eskom
This report follows revelations by Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan that 3,000 Eskom staff members are doing business with the utility, while around 1,000 moonlighters have been identified.
According to Gordhan, employees doing business with the company is a conflict of interest, which drives up prices and hurts Eskom’s financial position.
Energy expert Ted Blom, however, said that the figures quoted by Gordhan are small in comparison to what is really happening at Eskom.
Blom said there are over 10,000 corrupted employees at Eskom, and the company’s management does not have the guts to address the problem.
Speaking to Business Day TV, Blom said many corrupt employees at Eskom are “sitting at the top floor”.
He has highlighted his concerns in discussions with Eskom and can provide evidence of wrongdoing at the company. However, Eskom is not interested in the matter.
“I don’t think the management of Eskom has the guts to sort the problem out. I think that is where the problem lies,” Blom said.
He added that Eskom is worse off today than what it was a year ago under the corrupt management at the time.