File picture: Reuters

Johannesburg - Troubled power utility Eskom on Thursday announced it would introduce lifestyle audits for top management in a bid to turn the parastal's fortunes around. 

This was revealed by acting Group Chief Executive Sean Maritz during a presentation at a National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) public briefing, where the company is applying for a 19.9% tariff hike. 

Maritz told the hearing that Eskom's executive committee had resolved to "take bold action in order to shift the organisation’s reputation towards positive change".

“In so doing, we have adopted a five-path plan to rebuild a robust governance process and preserve our core value of integrity. This includes strengthening our general internal ethics and fraud framework where we have reviewed and approved our ethics and fraud management policy. 

"We have started on an education drive called “The Way”, for the Eskom board, leadership and employees on their responsibilities towards ethical conduct and reporting. This includes providing safe avenues for staff to blow the whistle on governance irregularities and crime. 

READ MORE: Eskom on the edge of financial ruin

Also part of this strategy included the plan to implement independent audits on members of the executive committee, divisional executives and senior general managers. 

This would see them all undergo regular independent lifestyle and conflict of interest audits

Additionally, Maritz announced the intention to terminate all irregular supplier contracts and work. 

"I can [also] confirm that the McKinsey contract was terminated in July 2017... the contract with Impulse International has been suspended, pending the outcome of a forensic investigation. 

"There are no dealings with Trillian contractually or otherwise. A legal verification was instituted on McKinsey, Trillian and Impulse after respective investigations conducted by independent investigators. Independent audits on the Tegeta contracts have been clarified as being within range of other similar contracts and all control gaps have since been tightened."

READ MORE: Suspended Eskom legal head details 'brazen theft', Gupta influence

Maritz also confirmed that the power utility was instituting disciplinary charges and taking legal action against those implicated in wrongdoing. 

This included eight high-ranking employees, of which four are from the executive team.

This bold announcement comes as the troubled utility continues to limp from one scandal to another. 

Not only have reports emerge that the utility is close to financial ruin, but it's emerged that Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown has allegedly been taking instructions from the Gupta family and was meddling in Eskom affairs.