Eskom, SIU join forces to fight corruption

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Pretoria - Power parastatal Eskom has partnered with the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) to fight corruption.

"We have made it a strategic imperative that Eskom must be a high-performance organisation. Our partnership with the SIU will help us to achieve that, and in addition will ensure that Eskom is ethical, well governed and has appropriate fraud detection and prevention measures in place," Eskom's CEO Brian Dames said on Wednesday.

Of the partnership between Eskom and the SIU - which is created by statute - Dames said any loopholes identified will be closed including criminal prosecution if warranted. The partnership is over a course of three years.

Eskom said the partnership was in line with its commitment to government's anti corruption drive.

Head of the SIU Willie Hofmeyr said the parastatal has demonstrated commitment to deal with corruption and maladministration issues. "This kind of innovative partnership to build capacity to fight corruption is vital if we are going to deal with corruption effectively," he said.

The terms of agreement are being finalised between the two according to which the SIU will deploy a team of expert investigators for a systematic check of all of Eskom's divisions.

A major focus of the investigation will likely be probity checks on Eskom's procurement contracts. The utility spends R90 billion annually on purchasing goods and services, including for its capital investment programme. 

The investigation seeks to uncover any corrupt practices or conflicts of interest. Dames said this would strengthen the company's internal audit function. "We hope it will contribute to the reputation we are building for honesty, efficiency and transparency," said Dames.

"An appropriate application for a proclamation by the President is currently in progress and, once gazetted, will confer special investigative powers on the SIU engagement," said Eskom.

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