Business 25.10.2017 11:34 am

Ramaphosa’s Shanduka Trust to be probed over Eskom coal contracts – report

Deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa addresses believers during the beatification Mass of Benedict Daswa on September 13, 2015 in Thohoyandou, South Africa. Daswa, who was stoned and burnt to death for his Catholic beliefs, was declared martyr during a beatification mass service in Limpopo yesterday. (Photo by Gallo Images / Sowetan / Sandile Ndlovu)

Deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa addresses believers during the beatification Mass of Benedict Daswa on September 13, 2015 in Thohoyandou, South Africa. Daswa, who was stoned and burnt to death for his Catholic beliefs, was declared martyr during a beatification mass service in Limpopo yesterday. (Photo by Gallo Images / Sowetan / Sandile Ndlovu)

The deputy president’s spokesperson says he divested from mining in 2014.

The Competition Commission has reportedly been asked to investigate possible collusion and uncompetitive practices related to Eskom coal contracts in a request implicating Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa’s Shanduka Trust, Business Day reports.

According to the report, the written request for the investigation, seen by the paper, states that Eskom concluded exclusive supply agreements with Anglo American, Exxaro and BHP Billiton at some of its power stations, which include Kriel, Matla, Lethabo, Tutuka and Kendal.

The source of the complainant, however, has chosen to remain anonymous.

“These exclusive contracts have been in place for a number of years, and will remain in place … with the earliest agreement terminating in 2019 and the latest in 2033. These contracts are cost-plus contracts, which means Eskom prepays these firms before they supply the power stations with coal,” the complainant reportedly stated.

The complainant listed Shanduka Coal, a coal company managed by Glencore SA and Phembani Coal Investments, and in which Ramaphosa held an interest in trust.

Ramaphosa’s spokesperson, Tyrone Seale, told the paper it would be difficult to comment on the collusion and uncompetitive practices claims without a timeline, as the deputy president had divested from mining in 2014.

“All that we can say is that the deputy president does not have any mining interests as he divested and disposed of his stake in Shanduka in 2014, but he has been on record as a supporter of improving the economy and combating uncompetitive behaviour,” Seale said.

Makgale Mohlala, the cartels division manager at the Competition Commission, confirmed the complaint, but could not elaborate on the probe, as it was still fresh. He could also not provide the names of the implicated directors.

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