The DA will write to the Minister of Public Enterprises, Lynne Brown, to request that the details of the Eskom penalty settlement with the Gupta-owned Tegeta Resources be made public. If Eskom has nothing to hide on the settlement, there should be no problem with releasing the full details of the settlement.
Eskom has settled rather quickly and out of court on the initial R2.5 billion penalty it placed on Optimum Coal Mine which is run by Tegeta.
While it was controlled by Glencore, the initial penalty placed on Optimum by Eskom was R2.5 billion. With the agreement to purchase the mine finally finishing in April 2016, the financial running of Optimum was taken over by Tegeta on 1 January 2016.
Once the deal had closed, Eskom supplied the firm with prepayments of R586 million to help with covering the R2.15 billion purchase, which is smaller than the actual penalty.
The former CEO of Eskom, Brian Molefe, was adamant that he was not going to negotiate with Glencore on the penalty but once Optimum had been bought by the Guptas, Eskom changed its attitude and a settlement was then discussed.
There are seemingly contradictory standards and preferential treatment accorded to dealing with the Guptas.
If Eskom has nothing to hide, then it must discuss the settlement. Otherwise it would be fair, based on previous experience, to question if the Guptas benefitted.
The DA will continue to push for the details of the settlement to be made public in the interest of transparency and openness.