NATIONAL NEWS - The Department of Public Enterprises (DPE) said it was pleased about the recovery of R1.56 billion from ABB South Africa back into Eskom's coffers.
This comes after Eskom and the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) reached an agreement with ABB to pay back in full, money derived from an overpayment by the power utility for work at the Kusile power station that started in 2015.
The department has described the agreement as a crucial milestone in the fight against corruption and State capture.
“It ensures that companies and individuals found to be complicit in or have benefited from malfeasance at State-owned entities are held accountable,” the department added.
Eskom has also instituted claims of about R3.8 billion to recuperate funds from former Eskom executives, former Board members, members of the Gupta family and their associates.
“The settlement agreement is a culmination of years of work by various parties, particularly after detailed investigations by the Special Investigations Tribunal in terms of the Presidential Proclamation R11 of 2018, initiated by the DPE.”
Meanwhile, according to the department, the SIU is currently executing proclamations into Denel, Transnet, Eskom and South African Airways.
The department is currently monitoring the implementation of consequence management arising from forensic reports at SOEs to ensure that those implicated in wrongdoings are brought to book.
“The department is also in the process of rolling out an SOE Risk and Integrity Framework geared towards restoring good governance in SOEs,” the department said.
According to the DPE, the framework is aimed at introducing stringent reforms about the management of conflicts of interest and integrity assessments of SOE employees and companies doing business with the SOEs.
“The department commends ABB for their disclosure and urges other companies, both local and international, to also come forward and make disclosures, as the SIU through the proclamation will track down all those culpable in the State capture project.”
The department has warned companies that are hiding illicit funds that the SIU and other international law enforcement agencies are working hard in returning stolen money to the fiscus.
“The recovery of the funds also confirms that there is a long list of entities and individuals, some who were at the executive level at SOEs that were involved in State capture and need to be pursued and monies recovered from their accounts.”
The department said it was confident this agreement is an indication that government is gradually turning the tide against State capture and corruption in the public and private sectors.
“The close partnership of the DPE, SOEs and law enforcement authorities will act as a deterrent and disincentive to anyone wanting to divert taxpayers’ money from being used properly in the efforts to eradicate poverty and inequality in our country.” – SAnews.gov.za