In gesprekke word dit swak bestuur genoem, maar daar is geen bestuur nie. Hoe kan iets wat nie bestaan nie, as bestuur beskou word. Alles gaan na eie sakke toe – en dit geld nie net vir Eskom nie, maar daar is nie een staats instelling wat nie dieselfde pad loop nie. Alles draai om geld, ministers “keur” dit goed en die volende jaar is die elektrisiteitvoorsiening slegter af en die geld weg. Daar bestaan nie vervolging in hul woordeskat nie, want die president stel dan eie regters aan – niemand kan regters wees in hul eie verhoor nie – dus hoe kan enige kommissie ook aangestel word, onafhanklik wees as niemand vervolg word nie – van die wapen skandaal af, regdeur tot by nkandla tot nou. Die kastige fluitjieblasers blaas maar word gevang en gelos? nou wie staan pa?
4 February 2019 – korrupsie en onbevoegde bestuur gaan nooit endkry by hierdie voorsiener van elektrisiteit nie.
Corruption Watch, in the wake of long-standing poor governance at Eskom, has launched an application in the High Court in Pretoria, to have former Eskom board members declared delinquent.
The application, which is brought in the public interest in terms of section 157(1)(c) of the Companies Act 71 of 2008, focuses on the violation of fiduciary duties and gross negligence on the part of former board members and was served on the following parties:
Eskom Holdings SOC Limited, Mark Vivian Pamensky, Anoj Singh, Brian Molefe, Venete Jarlene Klein, Zethembe Wilfred Khoza, and the current minister of public enterprises.
David Lewis, executive director of Corruption Watch, commented: “State owned enterprises, and Eskom in particular, have been at the centre of the state capture conspiracy. Instead of protecting the interests of the company, Eskom’s erstwhile directors have abetted the looting of the entity. We are determined that there should be consequences for their conduct. This application is one way of exacting those consequences and in ensuring that they are not afforded another opportunity to conduct themselves in a similar fashion elsewhere.”
The purpose of such an application is to have those former directors who engaged in serious misconduct declared delinquent and excluded from holding directorships, in terms of section 162(5)(c) of the Companies Act, which aims to ensure that companies are managed by directors who are fit to occupy such a position. This is particularly important for state owned entities (SOEs) such as Eskom with its entire share capital held by the state and which, as our courts have held, are thus owned by the nation. The public has an interest in the prudent management of public funds and directors of SOEs are entrusted to act in the best interest of the company, and by extension the people of South Africa.
Despite the removal last year of the majority of the then board of directors of Eskom and the removal of Lynne Brown as minister of public enterprises, the lack of oversight and poor management in the preceding years has left Eskom in an impoverished position and has contributed to South Africa’s economic instability. It has also emerged that Eskom was central to the state capture project and that directors abused their positions to enrich themselves and a host of third parties.
The lack of proper oversight and poor management resulted in the downgrading of Eskom debt and contributed to the downgrading of South Africa’s sovereign credit rating. The effects of this are evident in the deterioration of the basic, essential service that Eskom is responsible for providing.
Such misconduct by Eskom’s directors is a breach of trust and a dereliction of duty. Corruption Watch hopes, through this application, that the former directors will not be afforded another opportunity to abuse such a position.
The suspension of four top Eskom executives indicates a collapse of governance at the parastatal, the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) said on Thursday.
“Clearly it means there is collapse of governance. We would have expected that the chairperson of Eskom’s board should have been the one who is fired,” general secretary Frans Baleni told journalists outside the NUM’s national bargaining conference in Midrand.
“We did raise a concern about the reinstatement of this chairperson when the new board [had] been established.
“We reject this because we’ve never been consulted. We think that there is a bigger picture rather than to gun for these four executives.”
Earlier on Thursday, Eskom chairman Zola Tsotsi said the four executives, including chief executive Tshediso Matona, had been asked to step aside as the power utility embarked on a fact-finding inquiry.
The other three are finance director Tsholofelo Molefe, group capital executive Dan Morokane, and commercial and technology executive Matshela Koko.
Non-executive board member Zethembe Khoza would become interim chief executive.
“There is no intent or suspicion of wrongdoing, there are no charges against them,” Tsotsi said.
“There is no malice. There is no wrongdoing that is under consideration.”
It was an inquiry, not an investigation, into the poor performance of generation plants, delays in bringing plants on-stream, the high costs of primary energy, and cash-flow problems.
The executives had been asked to step down for the duration of the inquiry, he told reporters in Johannesburg.
Tsotsi said the process would not last longer than three months. There was no hidden agenda behind the inquiry, but the board needed to establish a baseline of where Eskom was.
Baleni said the timing of the suspension was poor.
“We had just made a call of save Eskom, doing things differently including the involvement of labour,” he said.
“Couldn’t there be a better approach in dealing with the concerns they’re having? Because nobody is saying that somebody’s corrupt, nobody’s saying somebody abused resources.”
He said government must take responsibility, rather than penalising certain individuals.
“They’ve just appointed this CEO. What message are they sending to these individuals?” Baleni asked.
Matona was announced as Eskom’s new CEO in August last year and took up his position on September 1.