Eskom corruption and related matters: committee deliberations

Public Accounts (SCOPA)

24 May 2023
Chairperson: Mr M Hlengwa (IFP)
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Meeting Summary


The Standing Committee on Public Accounts (SCOPA) resolved to call the former Chief Executive Officer of Eskom, Mr Andre De Ruyter, the former Eskom Chairperson, Prof Malegapuru Makgoba and the current Eskom Board to appear again before it on 26 May 2023 as part of its hearings into the alleged corruption and sabotage at Eskom. Thereafter, the Committee would deliberate if it should institute an inquiry or not.

During its deliberations, the Committee resolved to consult with the parliamentary legal advisor (PLA) on what options can be taken to ensure that Mr De Ruyter exposes the names of the officials he found to be involved in wrongful activities at the state-owned entity. The legal advisor would also be consulted on whether the inquiry that might follow should be led by SCOPA or an ad-hoc committee investigation.

Meeting report

The Chairperson mentioned that the Committee would be meeting with the National Security Advisor to the President, Dr Sydney Mufamadi, on 26 May 2023 as part of its hearings into Eskom. Thereafter, the Committee would deliberate on whether it should institute an inquiry or not.

Ms B van Minnen (DA) proposed that the Committee draft recommendations to Parliament about the challenges facing Eskom. However, there were two complications in doing so. One would be the allegations levelled by senior Eskom officials and the Minister against each other; and the second is that Mr De Ruyter is currently abroad.

Considering all the constraints the Committee is operating in, she suggested that Members deliberate on what recommendations need to be made to Parliament. Moreover, she proposed that the Committee institute a parliamentary investigation to uncover the extent of the issues faced by Eskom.

Mr S Somyo (ANC) was pleased by the progress made by the Committee thus far, though he felt that other relevant role players should be invited to appear before the Committee such as a Mr Burger and the Director-General in the Presidency. Only following their appearance, should the Committee deliberate on the way forward.

Ms V Mente (EFF) proposed that Mr De Ruyter should be called to appear before the Committee once more to face more questions on the allegations contained in his submitted statement. Further to that, she asked that Members consider laying charges against Mr De Ruyter for his failure to disclose the names of the individuals alleged to be involved in the corruption and sabotage taking place at Eskom.

Mr A Lees (DA) felt that there was insufficient evidence and information for the Committee to compile a report for the National Assembly (NA). As such, he proposed that a full Ad-Hoc Committee be established to run a full investigation. If Members did not agree, a Committee investigation should be undertaken, particularly as the PLA has advised that it can do so. Instituting an investigation would allow the Committee to probe certain Eskom officials for a second time.

Mr B Hadebe (ANC) agreed that there was a need to call further individuals to appear before the Committee, before a substantive report can be submitted to the NA. He urged the Committee to move speedily on concluding outstanding engagements, such as one with the Auditor-General, a certain Brigadier, and a second interaction with the former board chairperson, the current board of Eskom and Mr De Ruyter. Moreover, he requested that the Committee consult with the PLA on what the way forward should be.

He proposed that the Committee finalise a list of the individuals that should appear before it.

Ms T Siweya (ANC) agreed with the proposals that the Committee should engage with other individuals, and for the PLA to provide guidance on what legal steps can be taken to have Mr De Ruyter disclose the names of individuals alleged to be involved in corruption and sabotage at Eskom. The Committee should speedily deliberate on instituting either a Committee-led investigation or calling for an Ad-Hoc Committee investigation to be established.

She also proposed that the Committee meet twice in a week so that it can conclude its hearings as soon as possible, which will allow it to focus on other entities.

The Chairperson stated that the Committee would be meeting with South African Airways on the following Tuesday, and South African Broadcasting Company on the Wednesday.

He suggested that the PLA be consulted on the proposals for the establishment of either a Committee-led or Ad-Hoc Committee investigation.

On the individuals to be called to appear before the Committee, the Chairperson said that Members should submit a list of all persons of interest by Friday 26 May. He also recommended that the Committee call Ms Busi Mavuso to appear before it, as she was aware of the details surrounding the private investigation paid for by Eskom.

Mr Lees agreed with the Chairperson’s proposed way forward.

Mr Somyo also agreed.

The Chairperson informed Members that a date will be secured for the meeting with the Competition Commission.

Mr Hadebe reminded Members that he had previously proposed that the City of Cape Town and the Western Cape Provincial Government be called to appear before it on frustrations relating to the Passenger Railway Agency of South Africa (PRASA). Also, he recommended that the PLA be involved in the Eskom hearings going forward.

The Chairperson indicated that the proposal will be looked into.

The Committee considered and adopted outstanding 2022 meeting minutes dated 15, 16, 22, 29 March; 4, 10, 25 May; 7, 15 June; 30, 31 August; 6, 7, 13, 14, 20, 21, 27, 28 September; 18, 19, 20 October; 1, 2, 9, 15, 16, 22, 23, 29, 30 November 2022.

The meeting was adjourned.


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