Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan. FILE PHOTO: ANA
CAPE TOWN - Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan has vowed that consulting firm McKinsey will pay back R1 billion it owes Eskom for irregular payments.

However, it is not clear when Trillian will pay back R500 million the power utility as it has remained silent on the matter.

Gordhan told Parliament on Tuesday, during his budget vote debate, that they want to recoup billions stolen during state capture.

But opposition MPs wanted to know how soon McKinsey and other firms implicated in state capture will pay back the money.

“On the McKinsey pay back of R1bn, Jabu Mabuza (the Eskom chairman) is looking at that. Eskom wants that money,” said Gordhan.

Eskom has indicated several times in Parliament it wrote to McKinsey demanding the money back after the irregular payment by previous executives and board members.

Former Eskom Chief Financial Officer Anoj Singh was implicated in some of the irregular payments at the power utility.

Gordhan said they wanted to clean up SOEs following the rot that set in during the state capture project.

He said they wanted to see action against those implicated in corruption.

As part of the clean up process they also wanted to have skilled people in the boards of SOEs.

“What we noticed when we interviewed previous board members is the lack of knowledge of the business itself,” said Gordhan.

This is what contributed to state capture, he said.

Gordhan has fired several boards of SOEs and executives.

Yesterday former Denel Chief Executive Zwelakhe Ntshepe resigned with immediate effect.

He joins a growing list of people who were part of the boards of SOEs appointed during the time of former President Jacob Zuma.

Ntshepe’s resignation came less than 24 hours after Gordhan removed the remaining board members of Transnet and appointed Popo Molefe as the new chairman of the Transnet board.

Molefe was previously the chairman of the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa and had challenged the multi-billion rand locomotives tender in court.

Gordhan also announced that there will be a new board of SA Express soon.

This followed part of the changes they were initiating to fix the struggling airline.

Gordhan said they did not want SOEs to rely on bailouts.  The government has spent more than R500bn in bailouts in the past few years.  Eskom was said to be the largest risk to the economy as its debt was sitting at R360bn.   Gordhan said they wanted to get all the money stolen during state capture back.

- BUSINESS REPORT