Eskom has demanded that Treasury approve a R24-million contract to buy 9,217 office chairs, reported the Sunday Times.
The request for thousands of “operator and visitor chairs” comes after a R72.7-million contract for office and soft chairs was signed in 2013.
Eskom, which the report referenced as the biggest risk to the South African economy, would rack up a total of R100 million on office chairs in recent years if the latest contract went through.
The report stated that Treasury was suspicious of the latest request and conducted inspections of Eskom’s offices in South Africa.
It found that only 500 chairs were needed by Eskom.
The request for the R24-million expansion to the current office furniture contract was due to an “urgent need for replacement chairs while initiating a tender process”, said Eskom.
“The application just looked wrong and we suspected collusion between Eskom and the service provider,” said a Treasury source in the report.
The office chair “scandal” follows Eskom reporting a drastic drop in earnings in its latest financial year and the paying out of huge bonuses to employees despite this.
According to Outa, the current “mess” at Eskom has resulted in the price of electricity escalating by over 500% in the past 10 years.