Business 16.7.2017 10:06 am

Eskom wants to pay Molefe a bonus despite being ‘broke’ – report

Brian Molefe.

Brian Molefe.

The power utility is apparently sitting on its ‘last R20bn’, but still allegedly wants to reward the men largely blamed for being at the centre of its woes.

According to a report in the Sunday Times, financial statements for power utility Eskom reveal, among other things, that disgraced executives are still in line for millions in bonuses.

Axed CEO Brian Molefe only served eight months in the 2016/17 financial year and has taken Eskom to court to get his job back. Despite this, the statements reportedly want him to be paid R2.1 million as a bonus.

Suspended acting chief executive Matshela Koko is supposedly in line for a further R1.5 million despite having failed to disclose his daughter’s shareholding in a supplier company, Impulse International, to Eskom.

The Gupta-linked CFO, Anoj Singh, is allegedly in line for R1.9 million.

The office of Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown refused to comment on the matter, saying it would be premature to do so.

Eskom’s financial results were meant to have been announced already, but were postponed to later this week.

Analysts have speculated that the postponement was due to the parastatal not having been given a clean audit – a prerequisite for at least one of its big loans of R15 billion from the Development Bank of Southern Africa, granted in 2010.

The DBSA could call for an early repayment of the loan, which would be disastrous for Eskom, which has a monopoly on supplying power to South Africa.

According to the statements the Sunday Times claims to have seen, Eskom is down to its last R20 billion, its profits have shrunk from R31 billion last year to just R900 million, its interest repayments have shot up to R38 billion from R31 billion and it is not selling as much electricity as it used to due to the depressed economy.

Although R20 billion may sound like a lot of money, the reality is that Eskom may need yet another bailout from government or it may be unable to pay salaries in November.

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