Molefe, Koko in line for bonus bonanza

Eskom's board wants former CEO Brian Molefe, former acting CEO Matshela Koko and other executives to be paid out short-term bonuses

The power utility’s board has reportedly written to Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown proposing that Molefe receive a R2,1 million bonus for the eight-month stint he served in the 2016/2017 financial year before his sudden resignation late last year, the Sunday Times reports.

Eskom has also reportedly sought out bonus payments amounting to R1,5 million for Koko, who is currently on suspension and faces a disciplinary this week for the alleged conflict of interest arising from failing to disclose his stepdaughter’s shareholding in a company that Eskom awarded R1,5 billion worth of tenders.

Eskom CFO Anoj Singh, an alleged Gupta ally, is in line to receive R1,9 million.

The board’s request for R13 million in bonuses for top executives at Eskom has emerged amid allegations that the power utility is broke – less than three years after receiving a R23 billion bailout by former finance minister Nhlanhla Nene.

READ MORE: Eyebrows raised over Brian Molefe’s R30m golden handshake

The allegations are contained in Eskom’s annual financial statements, seen by the Sunday Times. According to these documents, the parastatal, which employs 49 000 people, has just R20 billion left in its coffers, enough to keep it operational for the next three months.

Eskom was supposed to have released its annual financial results last week but curiously postponed the public release on the eve of presentation day to Wednesday this week.

Sources told the newspaper that the delay happened because Eskom wanted to side-step a crisis that could have resulted in it having to pay back a R15 billion loan from the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA).

The DBSA would have been able to recall the loan facility because loan conditions stipulate that the utility must have a clean audit. However, auditors have flagged two irregularities: the reinstatement of Molefe in May this year and the issue relating to Impulse International, the company where Koko’s stepdaughter was employed.

“Because of the emphasis of matters, there is a breach of condition in the DBSA contract, which specifically says: ‘You will have a clean audit,’ and because of that, they have a right to recall the loan,” a source was quoted as saying. “Once that is done it will have a disastrous impact; that is why they postponed.”

READ MORE: How Brian Molefe helped Guptas grab Optimum mine – report

Eskom’s spokesperson, Khulu Phasiwe, said that the board had 30 days to “take appropriate steps to mitigate the risks identified, after which the external auditors are then required to … confirm if the irregularities are continuing or not”.

“Eskom’s board has taken adequate steps to the satisfaction of the auditors that the irregularities were no longer continuing, except that in Mr Molefe’s matter it was noted that the irregularity could be closed out only when the court proceedings had been concluded,” he told the newspaper.

Source: Sunday Times