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Dentist, beautician are Eskom’s diesel suppliers

Mar 15 2015 10:37

Cape Town - Following a week of high drama at South Africa’s power utility company Eskom, which saw four senior officials suspended, shocking revelations have emerged on how the company appointed a dentist and a beautician to supply diesel for its generators.

According to the Sunday Times, the dentist, Dr Maxine Kekana, and beauty therapist, Monica Nkosi, were among the suppliers given the task to deliver R200m worth of fuel to Eskom.

Kekana’s company Kekoil and Nkosi’s firm Kamoso are two suppliers Eskom uses from time to time despite having contracts with major oil suppliers, including PetroSA.

READ: Yelland on why Eskom CEO, execs were suspended

The newspaper reports that at the time the two women secured the deals their companies were relatively new to the energy sector and that their companies did not meet Eskom’s broad-based black economic empowerment criteria.

Kekana confirmed that she supplied diesel to Eskom and that she was a dentist by profession but insisted she was not the only supplier delivering diesel on the basis of a procurement order. In a letter to the newspaper however she threatened legal action in the event of the newspaper mentioning her name or the name of her company.
 
Nkosi, the beauty therapist, also confirmed she had supplied Eskom with diesel but said “we don’t have like a formal contract”.

Meanwhile, Eskom confirmed on Saturday that the inquiry into the power supplier would start this week. A lawyer, Nick Linnell, will co-ordinate the probe.

As reported by Fin24 last week, Eskom chairperson Zola Tsotsi announced on Thursday that CEO Tshediso Matona has been suspended as well as three senior executives and a full independent inquiry is to be launched into Eskom.

READ: Eskom does not need an inquiry - expert

Tsotsi told media at Megawatt Park that the four executives - including Matona, finance director Tsholofelo Molefe, group capital executive Dan Marokane and technology and commercial executive Matshela Koko - were suspended so that an inquiry could take place with unfettered access to Eskom.

The inquiry, whose members will be selected in coming days, will have full access to the suspended executives.

The inquiry will investigate the poor performance of generation plants, delays in bringing the new generation plant on-stream, high costs of primary energy and cash flow challenges.

“I believe this crisis and the suspensions at Eskom have everything to do with massive cost and time overruns at Medupi, Kusile and Ingula,” EE Publishers MD and energy expert Chris Yelland tweeted. “South Africans should brace for announcements by the Eskom board of massive further cost overruns at Medupi and Kusile in the days ahead.”

"There is nothing sinister happening," said Tsotsi, who said he was just the messenger. "This is a fact-finding inquiry ... which will last for three months."

"If in the process of this fact-finding process we find that there is improper conduct, then we will have to address those things," he said. "But we are not setting out with that in mind."

ALSO READ: State of affairs at Eskom worries Brown

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