Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa does not benefit from any processes associated with government’s plan to fix problems at Eskom, the presidency said on Wednesday.
“In view of claims made by Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) MPs in the National Assembly against Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa today… the Presidency wishes to reiterate the following…” spokesperson Ronnie Mamoepa said in a statement.
“It is a matter of public knowledge that Deputy President Ramaphosa has divested from Shanduka Group and holds no mining interests. Deputy President Ramaphosa’s divestment, announced in November 2014, is the result of a process that he initiated to remove the potential for any conflicts of interest.”
Ramaphosa was assigned by Cabinet in December 2014 to lead the Eskom war room, which is focused “solely” on the implementation of government’s five point plan to address the current electricity supply problems facing the country.
“The Presidency calls on the EFF to have the courage of its convictions to substantiate their claims or withdraw them,” Mamoepa said.
The EFF said in a statement on Wednesday evening that government came to Parliament to ask for billions of rands to “bail out Eskom”.
“Eskom has to use this money, amongst other things, to buy coal for its power stations to use in order to generate more electricity,” national spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi said.
“The EFF then cautioned Parliament and all of South Africa that approving this loan means assisting Ramaphosa to milk state resources which he attains through Shanduka that has stakes in mining companies that trade with the state.”
He said Parliament’s deputy speaker Lechesa Tsenoli ruled the EFF was out of order for cautioning Parliament about Ramaphosa’s conflict of interest.
“However, the EFF will never withdraw this because we know for a fact that Ramaphosa still owns and controls the affairs of Shanduka,” Ndlozi said.
“The EFF refused to withdraw because it is a reality that approving a loan to Eskom means giving them more money to buy Ramaphosa’s coal whose prices have also been exuberantly inflated in order to milk state resources.” News24