SIU must investigate Eskom’s multimillion rand staff parties – DA

Natasha Michael

04 March 2012

Natasha Michael says managers responsible need to be taken to task

According to reports, Eskom has spent millions of rands on six staff parties since November last year (see here).

Eskom is currently being probed by the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) for claims of corruption, fraud and maladministration. I will be writing to the SIU to request that Eskom’s multimillion rand staff parties be included in the scope of the investigation.

The managers responsible for approving this wasteful expenditure have to be taken to task. It is unacceptable that Eskom spends millions on staff functions, while consumers are forced to pay more and more each year for electricity.

On 1 April, all South Africans will be hit with a 25.9% increase in the cost of electricity. This will hit the poor the hardest. It is impoverished South Africans who will be forced to spend disproportionate amounts of their income on electricity who will suffer most.

Our parastatals should be doing everything they can to sustainably redress the legacy of apartheid-era inequality, not increasing the suffering of those who were born into poverty.

The latest Eskom staff party – held yesterday inCape Town- reportedly cost R3 million. Eskom confirmed that it was anticipated that roughly 4 000 people would participate in this event, with many of them transported from as far away as Oudtshoorn and George and accommodated in Cape Town at Eskom’s expense.

Eskom’s executives cannot expect South Africans to make sacrifices to save on our electricity consumption, and at the same time organise parties costing millions of rands at the public’s expense. It points to total disrespect for the South African public.

It seems that even after the disastrous blackouts of 2007/2008, the massive escalations in electricity prices of the past years and the request that South Africans consume 10% less electricity, Eskom still hasn’t learned how to lead by example.

The SIU needs to investigate these staff parties and hold those responsible to account.

Statement issued by Natasha Michael MP, DA Shadow Minister of Public Enterprises, March 4 2012

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