SCOPA keeps close watch on Eskom

Thursday, August 29, 2019

The Standing Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa) says it will develop a detailed report on power stations Medupi and Kusile following its oversight visits.

The report to be tabled in Parliament will give an overview of the workings at the two power stations that were, at inception, set to address the country’s power challenges.

The Committee conducted oversight visits at the Medupi power station in Lephalale on Tuesday and visited the Kusile power station in Witbank on Wednesday.

The committee’s visits were spurred by country-wide power outages early this year.

SCOPA noted that a major contributing cause of the outages was the poor performance of the new power stations, which were intended to come on-stream with additional capacity and provide a buffer for Eskom’s existing coal fleet.

The building of the coal-fired power stations, which started in 2007 and 2008, has been hit by cost overruns, poor engineering design and allegations of corruption.

SCOPA engaged with management and officials at both stations and met with Eskom’s board on Thursday on the issues that emerged at the power stations.

Following these engagements, Scopa committed to closely monitor Eskom while it works to overcome the challenges plaguing it and to root out corruption.

“We want to categorically emphasize that we are adopting Eskom as one of our key focus areas until we bring all the Eskom matters to a logical conclusion,” said SCOPA chairperson Mkhuleko Hlengwa.

Eskom incurred a loss of R2.3 billion, R19.6 billion in irregular expenditure and a debt of R380 billion in 2017/18.

“Scopa wants to see this situation turned around. This is why it saw it fit to start this journey with Eskom,” said Hlengwa.

Scopa said in line with its mandate, it will scrutinize Eskom’s financial statements when they are submitted to Parliament.

Initially, Medupi’s first unit to supply power to the grid was supposed to be completed in 2012 and the remaining units were to be completed in 2015.

The projected completion date is now 2021. The initial completion date for Kusile was 2014 and the projected completion date is now 2022/23. –