Corruption at Eskom investigated

South Africa’s anti-graft ombudsman is investigating Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd.’s deals with 27 independent power producers, Independent Online reports, citing a leaked document.

The probe into the state-owned utility’s award of electricity production licenses to privately owned companies was started after a complaint, the publication reported, citing a letter from Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane to the utility’s chairman, Jabu Mabuza.

Public Protector spokesman Oupa Segalwe said he couldn’t immediately comment.

The complaint maintains that Eskom’s contracts to buy electricity from so-called independent power producers were tainted by corruption and that unidentified senior executives came under political pressure to agree to the terms.

The contracts saddle the debt-laden utility with an estimated yearly loss of 21 billion rand ($1.47 billion), or an estimated 1.4 trillion rand over the next 20 years, the online publication said.

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Corruption at Eskom investigated