'The reputation of Eskom is under the most enormous cloud.' File photo by Reuters.
Cape Town – The Democratic Alliance is submitting an application in terms of the Promotion of Access to Information Act (Paia) to gain access to tender documents which resulted in President Jacob Zuma’s energy adviser Silas Zimu receiving a R149-million contract from Eskom, the DA said on Sunday. 

The DA was deeply concerned at media reports on Sunday that seven months after Zimu’s appointment as Zuma’s adviser on energy, Cape Gate Marepha, a company at which he is a non-executive director, was awarded a contract to supply Eskom with wiring, DA spokeswoman Natasha Mazzone said. "It is shocking that either Zimu, as a political adviser to the president, failed to declare his interests, or that President Zuma thought it acceptable to keep an adviser who simultaneously profits from public spending in the energy sector," she said. 

The DA would therefore also submit parliamentary questions to Zuma about his knowledge of Zimu's business interests, specifically which interests were declared to the president and which were not. The DA believed that Eskom should answer about Zimu’s direct conflict of interests and should do so by supplying the full documentary record of the tender decision. The DA would especially be interested to see to what extent Zimu's association with Zuma was documented. 

"Ultimately, this is a further damning issue that Eskom must come clean on. Recent scandals include Eskom [acting] CEO Matshela Koko and the alleged awarding of tenders worth R1 billion to Impulse International, a company of which his step-daughter is a director. 

"The reputation of Eskom is under the most enormous cloud, causing investment uncertainty. Instead of growing jobs, SOEs like Eskom are frightening investment away. Eskom is fast building on its reputation from national load-shedder to national job-shedder," Mazzone said. 

African News Agency