File photo: Bhekikhaya Mabaso/African News Agency (ANA).

DURBAN - The DA on Tuesday called for a "full independent forensic audit" of state power supplier Eskom. 

"Given the dire state of power utility Eskom, the effect on the economy and the lives of ordinary citizens, the Democratic Alliance hereby calls for a full independent forensic audit of Eskom," said shadow minister of public enterprises Ghaleb Cachalia.

"The system of patronage, graft and political paybacks have prevailed, and urgent steps need to be taken to remedy the situation. This rot cannot be left unattended, as it has for decades, under successive ANC governments."

Cachalia's remarks follow a media interview in which Eskom COO Jan Oberholzer said Eskom was "captured", with the capture running "right through the entire organisation". 

Additionally, said Cachalia, it was not sufficient to re-establish an energy war room, which will be chaired by deputy president David Mabuza. The war room is set to include finance minister Tito Mboweni, energy minister Gwede Mantashe and public enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan. 

Cachalia described the four as "the same quartet that has delivered the utility and the country to this parlous place".

"What is needed is a thorough investigation into the maladministration and rot that has beset this key utility. Current measures announced by the presidency, including the accelerated installation of André de Ruyter as Eskom’s new CEO, raises questions about the terms of reference of his appointment and whether this would involve buying him out of his current contract with Nampak," said Cachalia.

The government on Friday asked industry for the cheapest and quickest options to ease a power crunch. 

"Currently, 20-year plus evergreen contracts which will cost the country an estimated R1.4 trillion are in existence and the former minister has refused to disclose the 27 IPP owners. This failure to disclose pertinent information creates more doubt and a heightened worry that those who participated in state capture are still beneficiaries at the cost of the average South African and our economy as a whole," said Cachalia.

African News Agency (ANA)