Eskom Appropriation Bills [B16-2015] & [B17-2015]: adoption

NCOP Appropriations

25 June 2015
Chairperson: Mr S Mohai (ANC; Free State)
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Meeting Summary

The Committee met to consider two reports on the Eskom Bills. Prior to the consideration, some Members voiced conern about reviewing the reports without Eskom appearing before the Committee to brief Members on its functions, operations activities, strategic objectives and targets achieved. Despite these concerns, the Committee proceeded to approve the reports (with amendments) and consequently the Bills.

Meeting report

Opening of the meeting
The Chairperson welcomed everone, including delegates from Esom and the Department of Public Enterprises. Thereafter, he indicated that the Committee would be considering two draft reports on Eskom.

Consideration and adoption of draft report on Eskom Special Appropriation Bill [B16-2015]
Mr F Essack (DA; Mpumalanga) felt that the draft reports should not be adopted because Eskom had not appeared before the Committee to brief it on certain crucial matters contained in the documents.

Ms T Motara (ANC; Gauteng) agreed that Eskom had not been given an opportunity to address the Committee. However, she felt that the Committee should deal with the content and substance of the draft reports. When dealing with the content, certain issues which Members were not comfortable with could be excluded. Members were aware that the Committee had not invited Eskom to brief it. It was therefore the duty of the Committee to scrutinise the functions and operations of Eskom including other entities.

The Chairperson reiterated that Members should focus on the business of the day, especially the content of the reports. Members were at liberty to exclude certain matters which were not clear to them or seek clarity on them.

Ms NonkululekoVeleti, Acting Chief Financial Office, Eskom talked about tariffs structures. She stated that the power utility offered different services to different customers. Customers were catered for differently. There were those who were classified as intensity energy users and each classification had a rate allocated to it. There were tariffs adjusted or structured higher, medium and low users. The latter was designed for the people from disadvantaged communities.

Ms E Van Lingen (DA; Eastern Cape) stated that the issue was about the selling of electricity and whether information reflected in Eskom’s balance sheet was making sense.

Mr Essack was of the view that the National Treasury should provide its view on the Eskom’s financial statement.

Mr V Mtileni (EFF; Limpopo) was of the view that the draft reports should only be considered after Eskom appeared before the Committee and briefed it on its functions and operations. Eskom should provide a full report on its activities, strategic objectives and targets achieved. The Committee should take responsibility of oversight and should first comment on the suggested report before considering and adopting recommendations contained in the draft report. What measures were in place in respect of appropriation in order to take responsibility?

Mr Essack requested Eskom to furnish the Committee with information about its different tariff structures that Ms Nonkululeko had referred to. He was of the view that the Committee should have sufficient facts in order to move forward. He sought further clarity about the opening balance of R11 billion from National Treasury.

Mr L Gaehler (UDM; Eastern Cape) felt that Eskom should have briefed the Committee prior to consideration of the draft reports.

Mr Mtileni said that Members were differing with the Chairperson on the procedure. He reminded the Chairperson that the Committee was dealing with issues of appropriation. Therefore Members should agree on what should be done before proceeding to consider the draft reports. Without allowing Eskom to furnish the Committee with a report, there would be unavoidable problems.

Mr Gaehler backed the Chairperson and stated that Members should focus on the business of the day. It was too late to request a report.

The Chairperson said that issues raised by Members would be looked into and requested indulgence of Members to carry on with the consideration of the reports.

Mr Mtileni interjected and asked Chairperson that the Committee should proceed but his objection to be placed on record.

The report was considered page by page and some amendments were made.

Consideration and adoption of Draft Report on Eskom Subordinated Loan Special Appropriation Amendment Bill (2008/2009-2010/11 financial years) [B17-2015]

The report was considered page by page and a few amendments were made.

Ms Motara moved on to adoption of both reports and was seconded by Mr Nzimande (ANC).

The Chairperson stated the two adopted reports would be tabled to the NCOP House the following day. He thanked the delegates from Eskom and the Department of Public Enterprises for honouring the request to appear before the Committee on short notice. That gesture illustrated that there was no crisis in the management of these two institutions.

Adoption and consideration of minutes
Minutes of 03 June 2015 was considered and adopted.

Meeting was adjourned.

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