Kaunda Selisho
Lifestyle Journalist
3 minute read
15 Nov 2018
10:47 am

Eskom’s crisis is self-imposed for financial gain – Ted Blom

Kaunda Selisho

The energy expert made some explosive claims about what he has called Eskom's "self-imposed" financial crisis.

Eskom problems. Picture: Twitter

Speaking to 702’s Bongani Bingwa on his daily breakfast show, energy expert Ted Blom made some explosive allegations about the conduct of Eskom’s managerial staff and the suppliers they use.

“Every time Eskom has a crisis, two things happen. Firstly, there’s a lot of money being stolen and secondly, they use it as an excuse to drive up the price by at least 5%,” said Blom.

Blom believes Eskom’s coal supply and financial crises are self-inflicted by people within the organization for self-enrichment and the benefit of unnamed third parties.

“There are people who make money where there is a crisis. I guarantee you that the coal price that Eskom is paying now, today, for these 14 new coal contracts is at least a R200 premium to the market price.”

Blom, who has been working with the power utility for years, went on to allege that he knows of staff who receive massive kickbacks from suppliers when they are compliant in rigging the coal price and that this practice has been going on for over a decade.

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“I’m waiting for my turn at the Zondo Commission to expose all this nonsense and it happens with the knowledge and acquiescence of senior management… I mean these are the same guys who are spending R500,000 a month on their petrol cards. Do you think they care about you and me?”

He also went on to state that the board was powerless to stop this because they were clueless about what was really happening within the power utility.

Blom is also not optimistic about the plans Eskom has in place to maintain power supply and stated that the country is in for the worst load shedding we have ever seen.

“Because there’s no alternatives. Previously they could make plans and get some more coal onto their stockpiles, there’s now no alternatives.”

The energy expert claimed to have uncovered the source of a number of Eskom’s problems and had written to various power players such as Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan in addition to handing in numerous reports to Eskom’s head of forensics in an effort to correct Eskom’s mistakes but he had yet to receive any response.

Among these discoveries is the claim that Eskom may not be owed as much as it claims it is owed by defaulting municipalities.

“I reckon that out of the R17 billion owed to Eskom by municipalities, about R7 billion – I don’t have that number and I won’t have that number until we do a forensic audit – but my contention is about R9 billion of that could be due to irregular billing by Eskom and that’s scandalous.”

Other than Eskom national spokesperson Khulu Phasiwe’s request for Blom to provide evidence to prove his allegations, Eskom has refused to address his claims immediately.

The power utility will be hosting a press briefing on Friday November 16 where they will address a number of claims, concerns, and questions related to the future of South Africa’s energy supply and their dwindling coal reserves.

Listen to the full podcast here.

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