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Eskom board chairman, Professor Malegapuru Makgoba.

Eskom WhatsApp message defers Scopa briefing

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Eskom’s eleventh hour, WhatsApp “apology “text received at 8:25, 90 minutes before Parliamentary Standing Committee on Public Accounting (SCOPA) briefing begins on Wednesday morning, posed more questions than answers.

The Power Utility’s board chairman, Professor Malegapuru Makgoba, sent a WhatsApp message to SCOPA chairman, informing him he could not attend the briefing, citing conflicting meetings.

Eskom’s board of directors and officials were to appear before parliament, to brief the committee on various issues, including 80 disciplinary actions handed over to law enforcement agencies, and report an added R4 billion contract with multiple companies.

As SCOPA also required Professor Makgoba to attend the briefing, it postponed the meeting to next week.

Democratic Alliance (DA) Member of the Standing Committee on Public Accounts, Benedicta Van Minnen said Professor Makgoba’s appointment at Eskom as board chairman raised many questions.

After Makgoba’s appointment, in January said Van Minnen, Public Enterprises Department stated that his appointment was consistent with the government’s commitment to good governance, and stability of the power utility.

“Unfortunately, Makgoba did not see fit to report to the parliamentary committee dedicated to overseeing public accounts, when the blatant overspending, inflated contracts and inability of Eskom to keep proper power supply to the country and the focus,” said Van Minnen.

“If Eskom is to overcome its challenges, it requires a board Chairperson to commit to the job, not acting on an interim basis, but to understands the need for oversight and manage his diary so he does not send apologies to Parliamentary committees 90 minutes before they begin. We urge the board to get its house in order so that Parliament can continue with its oversight role,” added Van Minnen.

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