The national treasury has decided to withdraw Eskom’s controversial exemption from the Public Financial Management Act for the time being.
Enoch Godongwana, Minister of Finance, said during a joint parliamentary session of the standing committees on finance, public accounts and public enterprises that the exemption was temporarily withdrawn. This is so that further discussions can be held with the Auditor General (AG) and Eskom’s auditors.
The controversial waiver, which took place on Friday in the government Gazette was published, would mean that for the next three years Eskom would not have to indicate information about misappropriation and fruitless and useless expenditure in its financial statements. The entity would still have to report this in its monthly reports. According to a presentation that would be presented in the same committee meeting on Thursday, Eskom itself requested this waiver last year.
“In light of comments on this from the AG and members of the public, the treasury has decided to publish the waiver in the government Gazette withdraw temporarily, until further talks can take place,” Godongwana said.
The announcement provoked large-scale opposition from various quarters, with numerous role players arguing that this move would only further facilitate the looting of Eskom’s coffers. Several political parties and civil rights organizations have also threatened legal action.
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