Cape Town – On Tuesday, the Standing Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa) grudgingly granted Eskom a postponement to submit its annual report for 2019-20 next week. This was after the request was made by Minister of Public Enterprises Pravin Gordhan on Monday, saying Eskom was not prepared to make a presentation on the annual report.
Initially, on 12 and 19 February, the power utility was sent correspondence with Scopa arranging for the morning session to discuss the annual report and inquiries as well as the anomalies and extension of contracts in the evening session. When the department and Eskom were not prepared to make a presentation on the annual report, ANC MP Sakhumzi Somyo said they should be given a postponement and reschedule time to collect the necessary information and documents.
“If they ask for such a delay, you give them a delay, which is not later than seven days,” Somyo said. mAlf Lees, DA MP, said it was curious that Eskom was not prepared to make a presentation given that its annual report was submitted months earlier. What is the readiness that is needed, exactly? “asked Lees. His opinion was shared by Benedicta van Minen, his colleague, who noted that the agency was not prepared to present anything they might know about.
In order to provide effective control over malicious enforcement, ANC MP Bheki Hadebe said they should consent to the appeal. Hadebe pointed out that the first time the power utility made the request was not the first time. “It seems that Eskom needs to obtain special care. This is based on the sequence of previous events. History talks of certain things,’ he said. “Especially if the request was sent on February 12, well in advance, we do not take it kindly,” he said.
Veronica Mente, EFF MP, said granting the postponement should not be prioritized. “Mente said in reference to real-time oversight work, “Because as long as we postpone looking at matters of the past, we are delayed in looking at problems of the present. The justification is extremely inappropriate, as far as we accept it,” she said.”
Malegapuru Makgoba, chairman of the Eskom board, said there had been a misunderstanding of what was demanded. Makgoba claimed that they were prepared to deliver the annual report and did not want to be regarded as an exception. What we were asking for was that we received another letter on February 19 to have a different planning (deviations and expansions) for which we wanted the Eskom look papers to be present to Scopa. “That was what we asked to postpone, not the presentation of the annual report,” he said.