CAPE TOWN - The Gupta empire is losing on millions of rands as its eight businesses are filling for business rescue, the Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa) said on Friday.
OUTA's CEO, Ben Theron said, "It was inevitable that the empire would implode. South Africans are fierce defenders of justice. With their support, OUTA, other civil society organisations and the media have worked tirelessly to expose and oppose their looting and to see that justice prevail".
OUTA has revealed the following list of the affected businesses:
1. Optimum Coal Mine (Pty) Ltd
2. Optimum Coal Terminal (Pty) Ltd
3. Tegeta Exploration and Resources (Pty) Ltd
4. Koornfontein Mines (Pty) Ltd
5. Shiva Uranium (Pty) Ltd
6. Islandsite Investments One Hundred and Eighty (Pty) Ltd
7. Confident Concept (Pty) Ltd
8. VR Laser Services (Pty) Ltd
"These companies all filed for business rescue on 20 February," said OUTA.
This might have a direct impact for some Eskom power stations as OUTA further revealed that "the mines form the core of the Gupta empire and are crucial for providing coal to keep two Eskom power stations running, ensuring energy security".
It is believed that Optimum and Koornfontein are now failing to meet their contracted supply requirements which affects Eskom’s ability to run two of the power stations efficiently.
Ronald Chauke, OUTA’s portfolio manager for energy has suggested that Eskom must be tasked with providing mitigation options to salvage these mines and implement an appropriate intervention to lower the coal bill.
"Eskom should provide alternative cost-effective solutions urgently," Chauke added.
Optimum mine workers were striking this week as they were demanding answers from management over the mine’s future, as its shareholders are on the run.
"OUTA sympathises with the hundreds of employees and their families who now face an uncertain future," said Theron.
On Friday, the acting head of the Hawks unit, Lieutenant-General Yolisa Matakata has clarified that Ajay Gupta was being sought by the South African Police Service, on a corruption matter unrelated to the controversial Estina Farm Community Project in Vrede in the Free State province.
Following the Hawk’s raid on the Gupta family home in Saxton, OUTA said that they welcome the investigation and it is long overdue.
-BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE