Eskom cancels agreements totalling R11bn in crime crackdown

ESKOM cancelled coal supply agreements and construction contracts totalling R11bn as South African authorities sought to crack down on crime, said Bloomberg News citing comments by the country’s president Cyril Ramaphosa.

A further R3.7bn in coal supply deals were declared invalid following litigation, said Ramaphosa in response to a question submitted by an opposition lawmaker in parliament, said the newswire.

“There is currently an operational task team that is conducting investigations into allegations of alleged sabotage, fraud, corruption and the theft of Eskom’s infrastructure,” Ramaphosa said.

The scope of the investigation covers areas including maladministration and non-performance of Eskom suppliers between 2010 and 2022, said Bloomberg News.

Electricity Minister Kgosientsho Ramokgopa in April announced plans, to be implemented over the next six months, to limit power cuts that have crippled South Africa — including addressing criminality and reducing infrastructure sabotage at Eskom. André de Ruyter, the former CEO of Eskom, previously estimated the amount that’s being stolen from Eskom at R1bn a month to corruption, said Bloomberg.

According to a presentation by Matthew Mflathelwa, GM of strategy and planning at Eskom, at the Coal and Energy Transition Day, coal contracted by Eskom stands at a total of 100 million tons (Mt) in 2024 before falling to 35Mt in 2030. Coal still to be contracted from 2035 stands at between 500Mt to 600Mt from that year until 2050, Mflathelwa said.