The EFF has condemned Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan and Andre De Ruyter, CEO of Eskom, for failing to attend a critical meeting with the Standing Committee on Public Accounts. (Skopa)
On Wednesday, members of Parliament’s financial watchdog Scopa scolded Eskom and Gordhan for missing the meeting and not taking parliament seriously.
Gordhan had informed the committee ahead of time that he was unable to attend due to another private sector meeting. The conversation was intended, among other things, to gain clarity about contract deviations and extensions by the parastatal.
“In an exhibition of their combined ethno-chauvinism, the Indian and white supremacists who cripple our national assets undermined Parliament’s oversight role by not participating in a SCOPA meeting where they were supposed to be held accountable on derogations and extensions of contracts by Eskom,” the EFF said in a statement.
Eskom has submitted 11 derogation requests for the first two quarters of fiscal year 2021/2022. These are essentially requested to deviate from normal purchasing processes.
“The entity made 28 extension requests during the same period. †
“An expansion basically means that an entity can extend and renew existing contracts rather than soliciting new bids from potential suppliers to perform the work,” the EFF said.
Only three of the requested deviations and four extensions were not approved, and the rest, costing billions of Rands, were approved, while others were conditionally approved.
“This means Eskom could do what it wanted to do, hire contractors they wanted without going through normal bidding processes and extend contracts from those they had close relationships with, without opening up the space for new entrants to the industry.” said the party.
The party said Eskom was effectively able to use deviations to hire mostly white contractors.
“Gordhan and De Ruyter have walked away from the accounting for these purchasing blunders, which easily amount to fraud,” the party said.
Gordhan’s strategy of selling parts of state-owned companies that had been looted to financial ruin has met with scathing criticism from the EFF and some unions.
The party is known for attacking Gordhan and labeling him as a racist, despite supporting him in their actions “Zuma must fall”” campaign.
In 2019, the red berets stormed the podium in parliament where Gordhan was delivering a speech. They had raised numerous points of order as Gordhan tried to speak. Parliament’s defense forces removed the EFF MPs before the confrontation could escalate.
The party said De Ruyter and Gordhan owed the public a statement due to the ongoing power crisis.
The EFF is now demanding that both Gordhan and De Ruyter set a new date with Scopa in the near future.