Cape Town – The DA on Wednesday handed a petition to Eskom CEO Brian Molefe calling on the utility’s executive to pay back R63m in bonuses. “Since load-shedding began in 2008, Eskom executives have received over R73m in bonuses. This is an insult to hard-working South Africans, who continue to struggle without a stable supply of electricity,” DA Shadow Minister of Public Enterprises Natasha Mazzone said outside Eskom’s Megawatt Park in Sunninghill.
Mazzone who was joined by about 30 DA supporters claimed that the petition was supported by “over 76 000 South Africans” and demanded that Eskom executives repay the bonuses and that no further bonuses are paid until the crisis is over and load-shedding is no longer a threat. In a statement later on Wednesday Eskom said the group had arrived “without prior approval”.
“They then proceeded to occupy the reception area and demanded to see Eskom Group Chief Executive Mr Brian Molefe,” the utility said. “This action by the DA was unnecessary. It was cheap politicking and electioneering of the worst kind. More so because the issues raised in the petition are the same issues that have been raised in Parliament, which have been addressed several times,” Eskom said.
Eskom claimed that “some of the identify numbers of the signatories to the memorandum are nonsensical and do not exist (eg 78 0567…, 87 0431…, 723 652)” and that “at least one cellphone number is the call centre number of the Financial Services Board”. Eskom said it would be conducting a forensic investigation to determine the authenticity of the signatories and the possibility that fraud may have been committed.
Minister of Public Enterprises Lynne Brown condemned Mazzone’s actions as “unacceptable and irresponsible behaviour”. “MPs should be conversant with the laws governing protests. Acting in a legal and responsible manner would have required them to request permission from the relevant authorities and notify Eskom before embarking on this reckless action,” Brown said.
She said the DA contingent had gained “unlawful entry to the reception by using the entry card of a DA sympathiser”. “I am appalled that the members of the DA could place the country’s supply of electricity at risk,” she said. NEWS 24