B-BBEE COMMISSION TO RELEASE FINDINGS INTO ESKOM PROBE

The BBBEE Commission has announced that it will issue its findings on the complaint lodged by the Democratic Alliance two years ago.

According to the complaint, three Gupta-linked companies were awarded multi-million rand contracts with power utility Eskom despite having fraudulent B-BBEE certificates or misrepresenting their empowerment status.

Dean Macpherson, a member of Parliament for the DA, on Wednesday released correspondence between the B-BBEE Commission and the DA about a complaint against the companies, which he lodged in March 2018.

He said, the three documents, between 7 and 14 pages long, state they are the commission’s “final findings”. They are all dated July 12, 2019, and are signed by the commission’s executive manager of investigations and enforcement, Moipone Kgaboesele.

Meanwhile the findings state that they include “restricted information” and should not be shared until the commission has published a final report.

In essence, Macpherson alleged that Trillian Management Consulting (Pty) Ltd, Tegeta Exploration and Resources (Pty) Ltd, and Optimum Coal Mine (Pty) Ltd submitted invalid and/or fraudulent B-BBEE certificates and B-BBEE Sworn Affidavit to Eskom Holdings SOC Limited for procurement purposes.

According to the DA, some of the commission’s other findings include:

  • A B-BBEE certificate was awarded to Optimum Coal Mine without following due process of verification, making it invalid;
  • Tegeta and Trillian Management Partners misrepresented their B-BBEE statuses to secure Eskom contracts;
  • Tegeta was wrongfully classified as an exempted micro-enterprise with an annual turnover of not more than R5m and a B-BBEE Contributor Level 3. The commission stated that based on multi-million-rand contracts Tegeta entered into with Eskom the year before, it should have been classified as a large entity.
  • Trillian Management Partners misrepresented its B-BBEE status as that of a B-BBEE Contributor Level 4. The company was classified as an exempted micro enterprise, when it was not the case.
  • Eskom accepted an invalid B-BBEE certificate from Tegeta and Optimum Coal Mine. The power utility also accepted a B-BBEE sworn affidavit from Trillian and the invalid B-BBEE certificate from Tegeta – which misrepresented the B-BBEE status of the companies. All the while, Eskom had known the value of the contracts it awarded to the entities, and that it exceeded the limited turnover of R10m required for companies to be classified as exempted micro enterprises.

“The B-BBEE certificates for Tegeta Exploration and Resources (Pty) Ltd, Optimum Coal Mine (Pty) Ltd were issued by BEE Matrix (Pty) Ltd,” said the Commission.

“The B-BBEE Commission issued its final findings to the parties to the complaint on 12 July 2019 and has noted that Democratic Alliance has issued a media statement in regards to these complaints. The B-BBEE Commission will publish its findings in due course subject to section 13J (7) (b) of the
B-BBEE Act which allows for a period of 180 days for a judicial review process that may be pursued if any of the parties wish to do so. The B-BBEE Commission performs its mandate impartially, without fear, favour or prejudice, as guided by the B-BBEE Act, and will continue to respect this process.” The statement announced.

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