South Africans must be “grateful” for the “brilliant” Eskom Inquiry report, Public Enterprise Minister Pravin Gordhan said at a sitting of the National Assembly.
The report was adopted by the National Assembly on Thursday. It recommends that law enforcement agencies pursue investigations and prosecution of those implicated.
Chair of the inquiry Zukiswa Rantho introduced the report – Inquiry into governance, procurement and financial sustainability of Eskom – to the National Assembly on Thursday. Rantho, detailed the work of the portfolio committee on public enterprises which decided to go forward with an inquiry at the state-owned enterprise on June 21, 2017. The inquiry commenced on October 17, 2017.
Rantho, an ANC MP, acknowledged the contributions of Gordhan and Mondli Gungubele who were MPs at the time and have now been appointed public enterprises minister and deputy finance minister respectively.
The committee adopted the report earlier this week. Rantho described it as a long process which tested the resolve of the committee and their families.
“Through the process, the faith of people in our constitutional democracy was restored, their faith in Parliament was restored,” Rantho said.
“The fruits of our oversight is remarkable,” she added. Since the inquiry commenced, a new board and executives were appointed at Eskom. Executives are pursuing investigations into fraud, corruption and other crimes at the power utility, global consultancy McKinsey pledged to pay back R1bn “ill-gotten” from Eskom and the power utility is in a process to recover millions from Gupta-linked Trillian, she said.
Rantho stressed that law enforcement agencies should pursue investigations and eventual imprisonment of those found to be guilty of wrongdoing.
In his remarks, Gordhan said that corruption was not limited to leadership, but was part of the culture of institutions – and a lot more work must be done to “clear out the culture of corruption”.
‘A good day to be South African’
Democratic Alliance MP Natasha Mazzone said “today is a good day to be South African.”
She called the National Assembly’s consideration of the report “an historic day” in Parliament, as it is the day Parliament “exposed and destroyed the monster of State Capture” at Eskom.
Economic Freedom Fighters MP Thembinkosi Rawula also echoed calls for law enforcement agencies to pursue investigations into former executive Brian Molefe, Matshela Koko and Anoj Singh, among others. The Gupta family, Duduzane Zuma, Jacob Zuma and Dudu Myeni should be prosecuted as a “matter of urgency”he said.
Inkatha Freedom Party MP Mkhuleko Hlengwa said he hopes that the recommendations of the report will be “realised to their fullest potential”. This is in order to bring justice, restore good and effective governance at Eskom and for the majority of people previously and presently disadvantaged to have access to electricity.
He said the inquiry gives hope that Parliament “can and does” function.
The report will be handed over to the Zondo Commission of Inquiry into State Capture for further investigation.