Eskom denies awarding contract to Gupta-linked company

Photo_Web_Eskom_100816

File: Eskom will hold urgent talks with unions in hopes of ending a wage strike.

File: Eskom will hold urgent talks with unions in hopes of ending a wage strike.

Photo_Web_Eskom_100816

File: Eskom will hold urgent talks with unions in hopes of ending a wage strike.

File: Eskom will hold urgent talks with unions in hopes of ending a wage strike.

CAPE TOWN – Eskom on Thursday rejected claims that it had awarded a contract to advisory group Trillian Capital Partners, a firm linked to the controversial Gupta family.

This comes after reports in Sunday papers that Trillian had scored a total of R51-million from State-owned companies, including Eskom, for work that had allegedly not been done and without any formal contracts.

“We would like to state categorically that Eskom has no contracts in place with Trillian Capital Partners and/or associated companies,” Eskom said in a statement.

“When the current Board was appointed in December 2014, Eskom was facing challenges at both operational and financial levels. This period was plagued by capacity constraints, delays in the new build programme and the associated cost overruns, and load shedding.”

READ: Sexwale calls for probe into Trillian-Gupta links

Eskom said these challenges led to the board initiating an investigation into the reasons for the above issues and to also devise a turnaround strategy for the organisation.

“Pursuant to this, in June 2015, the Board gave the mandate to negotiate a risk-based contract with McKinsey, covering the main risk areas of the turnaround strategy,” Eskom said.

Eskom said because of the challenges it was facing, it had to engage with a wide variety of service providers, including Deloitte Consulting, Barclays, McKinsey, Citibank, the Public Investment Corporation and Trillian, in order to mitigate against risks with a sense of urgency.

The power utility also denied receiving assistance from Trillian or Regiments, Trillian’s holding company, on an analysis of the China Development Bank’s US$500m (R7-billion) loan facility or an analysis of a Goldman Sachs R30-billion loan facility.