Despite Eskom denying reports earlier on Sunday that it was broke, the power utility has now confirmed it will be paying multimillion-rand bonuses to its controversial current and former senior executives.
“We are paying bonuses because people have met and exceeded their performances,” Eskom’s spokesperson Khulu Phasiwe confirmed to eNCA.
The Sunday Times reported on Sunday the beleaguered parastatal was facing dire financial constraints and had only enough cash to last it for the next three months, which could see it unable to pay salaries to its 49,000 employees in November.
The executives in line for millions in bonuses, according to the report, included axed CEO Brian Molefe (R2.1 million), suspended acting CEO Matshela Koko (R1.5 million), and Gupta-linked CFO Anoj Singh (R1.9 million).
“Despite its precarious financial position, the state-owned company has asked [Public Enterprises Minister Lynne] Brown to approve short-term bonuses totalling R5.5 million for three of its most controversial former and current executives. This is part of a R13 million payment proposed for Eskom’s top executives,” the report stated.
Phasiwe admitted that the figures which are in the report are correct.
“The report you saw today by the Sunday Times specifically about the figures that are going to be paid to the individuals you mentioned. Those figures are not incorrect … and because they have met their targets … that’s how and why they’re going to be getting those bonuses,” he said.
He said the executives had met performance targets set by the utility at the beginning of the financial year, which had been accepted by the Eskom board and Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown.
“What makes business sense is when you’re given a target at the beginning of the financial year before any money is made … If you do meet those targets and for whatever reason your employer is not able to compensate you then you are talking about something else.
“Unless you are saying that we shouldn’t be paying even though there was a commitment from the board and the minister that whoever’s going to meet their targets will get the bonus then you are talking about something different,” he said.