GUPTAS-OWNED COMPANY SUPPLIED POOR QUALITY COAL AT EXORBITATNT PRICES, SOUTH AFRICAN PARLIAMENT TOLD

CAPE TOWN, An audit report on the quality of coal supplied by the Guptas-owned Tegeta mine which has been submitted to the South African Parliament has found numerous flaws in the procurement process and transgressions against the Public Finance Management Act, which resulted in Tegeta charging exorbitant prices and raking in billions of rands from supplying poor quality coal to national power utility Eskom.

The National Treasury submitted the report of the audit carried out by international professional services multinational PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PwC) to Parliament’s Standing Committee on Public Accounts on Wednesday. Poor financial evaluation of contracts entered into with Tegeta and shoddy record-keeping and document management are some of the conclusions reached by PriceWaterhousehouseCoopers.

The PwC also pointed out that only a few of the people involved in the procurement process are familiar with Eskom’s Procurement and Supply Management procedures. The report states that negotiations with Tegeta started even before Tegeta had complied with all the tender requirements.

Solly Tshitangano from the Treasury Department said when engagements started with this Gupta family-controlled company, it had no water licence and they believe there is need and in fact, it’s important to comply before contracts are signed.

The tabling of the report has again exposed divisions between the ruling African National Congress (ANC) and opposition parties. The ANC tried to block discussion on the report until Eskom was invited to respond, but opposition party MPs on the committee rejected this proposal.

The ANC says the report is preliminary and so, it is premature to discuss it before Eskom is invited. Otherwise, it becomes a witch hunt, while opposition parties say the Treasury should not be second-guessed and its integrity questioned.

Legislators have agreed to invite Eskom and all other implicated stakeholders to Parliament to clarify issues that are raised in the PWC audit report.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK