Johannesburg - New management at Eskom has apparently taken a conscious
decision to look anew at the power utility's corporate governance
policies in a bid to avoid reputational damage.
According to Eskom's finance director Paul O'Flaherty, the
power utility would prefer to avoid the type of controversy it created
by awarding tenders to Hitachi Power Africa, in which South Africa's
ruling party had an indirect stake through its Chancellor House
"In the next few weeks the chairperson [Mpho Makwana] and I
will have a conversation on whether we should bring the Chancellor
House matter to the board when it next meets towards the end of May,"
O'Flaherty recently told Fin24.com. "As executive directors we normally
put the board agenda together."
Eskom's board has not met since before the power utility was
awarded a R28bn World Bank loan to complete the construction of the
Medupi power station. O'Flaherty and Makwana are the only executive
directors sitting on the company's board.
The reason why O'Flaherty said the board might have to discuss the
Chancellor House issue, is because he feels Eskom has to turn over a
new leaf and start winning friends.
The Eskom board had in 2008 decided there was nothing untoward about
the Hitachi/Chancellor House deal, said O'Flaherty. But the controversy
it has since generated has brought reputational damages to both Eskom
"We have not covered ourselves with glory in the past. This is a
reputational issue," said O'Flaherty. "We'll look at the lessons learnt
from this. And we'll learn to manage conflict of interests better."