Founder of Edison Group, businessman Vivian Reddy. File Picture: Gcina Ndwalane
Founder of Edison Group, businessman Vivian Reddy. File Picture: Gcina Ndwalane

Edison Power dismisses claims of a R40-million 'kickback' from a government deal

By Thabo Makwakwa Time of article published Jul 21, 2021

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Durban: Electrical company Edison Power has denounced misleading reports and claims that the company benefited from a dodgy R40-million “kickback” from a government deal.

The entity released a statement on Tuesday placing it on record that it had never conducted business with the government and dismissed the claims stating that it was a false campaign by disgruntled former employees who are being investigated for fraud.

This comes after a story titled Zuma pal Vivian Reddy's power company in R40-million kickback row emerged alleging that a source with knowledge claimed there was a collision between an Edison Power executive and a consultant to "swindle" Group Five resulting in the said kickback.

Managing Director Basil Govender said the intent was to piggyback on the frantic Zuma wave and the national crisis sweeping our country.

“Edison Power Gauteng has never contracted directly with the government but was a domestic subcontractor to one of the major construction companies, Group Five. The claim that there was collusion between an Edison Power executive and the consultant to "swindle" Group Five is nothing but a work of fiction.”

The entity said that it was strange that a "senior investigative journalist" would anchor his whole story on a single source who was a disgruntled former employee under investigation and charged with serious acts of fraud totalling to R15-million.

Giving the background to the deal, the entity said that the R40-million alleged "overcharge" emanated from normal cost escalations following project scope change due to additional end-user requirements.

Govender said that the contract timeline was also extended by four years.

“These simple facts could have been easily verified before writing the false, defamatory, and malicious "single-source" article. A year and a half-long internal forensic investigation revealed massive fraud, corruption, and embezzlement of about R150-million by key senior employees and a financial director. Some of the employees implicated in the cases are attempting to collude with newspapers and journalists to deflect and undermine Edison's fight against corruption,” he said.

Govender said that Edison Power Gauteng has since handed over the forensic report to the Hawks Serious Commercial Crimes Unit in Germiston so that the corrupt employees were brought to book.

The Edison Corporation is one of the country's leading new generation conglomerates engaged in various sectors within the Power, Energy, Property Development, and allied businesses.

The Edison Group was founded by entrepreneur and philanthropist Vivian Reddy.

Some landmark projects executed by Edison include Sandton Convention Centre, Monte Casino, Time Square, Sun City Casino, Soccer City, and the OR Tambo International Airport.

Daily News

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