Eskom mum on R5.5m bonus bonanza for Molefe, Koko and Singh

Cape Town - Although Eskom rejected media reports of it facing a cash crisis, the power utility is tight-lipped on bonuses for three of its most controversial former and current executives.

Eskom wants to pay short-term bonuses totalling R5.5m to axed CEO Brian Molefe, suspended acting chief executive Matshela Koko and chief financial officer Anoj Singh, reported the Sunday Times.  

It said according to leaked financial statements, the power utility only has R20bn, which will likely only last for the next three months. This means that Eskom may not be able to pay salaries to its 49 000 employees come November, unless it receives a bailout.

Eskom denied that it is facing a cash crisis and that it has only enough cash to last for the next three months.

"External auditors have confirmed Eskom as a going concern, and as a result the company sees these reports as being inaccurate and misleading," it said in a statement on Sunday.
 
"It is important to reiterate that Eskom is not facing any liquidity challenges, and that the company is confident that it will maintain sufficient liquidity to support its operations," the power utility emphasised.

However, it fell short of commenting on the alleged bonus payments of R2.1m for Molefe, R1.5m for Koko and R1.9m for Singh.

Eskom explained that it’s operational and financial performance will be announced on Wednesday. This after it postponed its financial results presentations which had been due to take place last Tuesday.

"Due to limitations around disclosing financial information before the official announcement, which is scheduled for Wednesday 19 July 2017, Eskom is not in a position to respond comprehensively to the specific issues raised at this stage."

The DA called on Minister of Public Enterprises Lynne Brown to stop the handover of public money to Eskom executives.

"The DA publically calls on Minister Brown to reject the request to approve short term bonuses of R5.5 million for three former and current executives, which forms part of an R13 million payment for top executives", said DA spokesperson on public enterprises Natasha Mazzone.

"It is utterly unacceptable for executive bonuses to be paid while ordinary employees may not be paid."

Mazzone said Eskom's finances are in shambles, based on the reports, which claimed that the power utility's income decreased from R5.3bn last year to R900m in June, while the interest it accrued on its debt jumped to R38bn from R31bn.

Eskom indicated that while its financial position has always been supported by significant reliance on debt and borrowings‚ its improved overall financial and operational performance over the last two years has led to an improved balance sheet.

It added that it has sufficient government guarantees to execute its funding plan and has also maintained access to capital markets and raised committed funding.

"As stated above, the details about Eskom’s operational and financial performance will be announced on Wednesday where members of the media and other key stakeholders have been invited. Eskom will continue to meet with a number of stakeholders ahead of releasing the results this week."

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