From the news desk

Presidency won’t entertain Eskom ‘gossip’

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The presidency on Thursday said it would not entertain what it called rumours and gossip about operations at Eskom.

“President Jacob Zuma has been kept fully briefed about the developments at Eskom and the attempts being made by the Minister of Public Enterprises, Ms Lynne Brown and the board to meet the energy challenge facing the country,” spokesman Mac Maharaj said in a statement.

“Eskom is receiving full support from the department of public enterprises, the presidency and government as a whole to improve operations and implement the energy security plan.”

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa was leading government’s support efforts.

In recent months, Eskom has battled to keep the lights on since the collapse of one of its coal storage silos, diesel shortages, and maintenance issues.

Business Day reported on Thursday that four senior executives, including chief executive Tshediso Matona, were suspended a week after they had initiated an audit into Eskom’s tender processes.

Eskom’s media desk confirmed it had received a notice from Matona that he would challenge his suspension in the Labour Court. It said the suspensions had nothing to do with the tender audit.

“No, the chairman was quite clear at the media briefing two weeks ago in explaining the suspensions took place so that an independent inquiry into the business could be commissioned,” the media desk said.

On March 12, board chairman Zola Tsotsi said that four were asked to step aside as the power utility embarked on a fact-finding inquiry.

Matona was challenging his suspension in an urgent application in the Labour Court in Johannesburg on Thursday, as the power utility announced more blackouts. SAPA

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