...By Gift BADEWO for TDPel Media.
Eskom receives exemption from disclosing irregular expenses
Eskom, South Africa’s state-owned power utility, has announced that it has received an exemption from the National Treasury on certain disclosure requirements under the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA).
The exemption relates to the annual reporting of irregular, fruitless, and wasteful expenses.
Instead of reporting such expenses in its annual financial statements, Eskom will report them in its annual report, which is tabled in Parliament by the Minister of the Department of Public Enterprises.
Engagement with relevant stakeholders
Eskom has been engaging with National Treasury and the Department of Public Enterprises for several months to seek approval for the exemption and departure application.
The company has stated that it will continue to cooperate with supervisory authorities, including the Minister of Public Enterprises, the National Treasury, the Auditor-General of South Africa, Parliament, and other relevant ministries.
Commitment to compliance
Eskom has assured the public that it remains committed to complying with applicable legislation, including PFMA compliance.
Calib Cassim, Eskom’s Acting Group Chief Executive, emphasized that PFMA compliance remains a priority for the company as it works to address irregular, fruitless, and wasteful expenditure, including appropriate consequence management proceedings.
Procurement and irregular expenditure
Eskom’s Chief Procurement Officer, Jainthree Sankar, stated that Eskom is committed to a procurement system that is fair, equitable, transparent, competitive, and cost-effective.
Sankar added that any exemption or departure is seen as an exception, not a norm, and that Eskom is working with regulatory bodies to support the procurement of goods and services impacting its key operations.
Positive progress made
Eskom has reported positive progress in establishing systems, procedures, checks, and balances designed to reduce the extent and risk of fraud, corruption, and irregular expenditure over the past three financial years.
The company has implemented mechanisms to address the causes of historical issues, which have proven largely successful.
The 2021/22 audited financial statements show a marked reduction in the incidence of irregular expenditure that originated in that year.