I'm not worried about my future, says Brian Molefe
Johannesburg – Embattled Eskom chief executive Brian Molefe says he isn't worried about his future, despite calls by the ANC for his removal.
He has also refused to speculate about his future at the power utility after the ANC national executive committee ordered Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown to remove him.
After Eskom's bosses appeared before Parliament’s finance watchdog, the standing committee on public accounts (Scopa), on Tuesday, Molefe told journalists he was not worried about calls for him to go. “No, I am not worried about whatever happens,” he said.
This was after Brown left Scopa early to attend a meeting of the inter-ministerial committee (IMC) to discuss Molefe’s future. The IMC was set up by President Jacob Zuma last week following an impasse on Molefe.
The NEC was adamant at its meeting over the weekend that Molefe had to go.
Molefe was part of the Eskom delegation that appeared before Scopa to explain how coal contracts were awarded to the Gupta-linked Tegeta company.
The power utility came under pressure from MPs to explain why they deemed it so urgent for the contracts to be signed, to the extent that proper processes were not followed.
The PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) report found that proper procedures were not followed to award the Gupta-linked company R4billion in coal contracts over 10 years.
Eskom officials and the board were at pains to defend their actions, but would not dismiss PwC's findings.
ANC MP Nyami Booi said Eskom had done “a cut and paste job” on the original contract. This, he said, had been confirmed by the report.
He added that the people who approved the contract must face the consequences.
“It was copying and pasting of the contract that is costing R4bn,” said Booi.
Scopa chairperson Themba Godi said the issues raised by the report over the contract were serious and he was happy that Brown had set up an investigation into Eskom.
“The minister has come up with a possible solution so that we don’t have doubts as to what is happening,” said Godi.
Brown told the committee the Special Investigating Unit would investigate contracts at Eskom, going back to 2007.
She also shared this information with the portfolio committee on public enterprises.
Fielding questions from Scopa, Molefe said Eskom accepted the findings of PwC and was now "correcting everything that was incorrect".
“There were a lot of things wrong that were identified in the PwC report,” he said.
Eskom board chairperson Ben Ngubane also welcomed any investigation.
Booi questioned why Eskom had entered into the contract in such haste, even though it was not an emergency situation.
Mkhuleko Hlengwa of the IFP described the contract with Tegeta as full of loopholes, yet Eskom had entered into it. He said this raised questions about the hasty manner the contract was signed by Eskom.
Ntombovuyo Mente of the EFF called for Eskom to scrap the Tegeta contract as directed by the report's findings.