Open letter to the Honourable Elizabeth Thabethe, MP (Chairperson Portfolio Committee on Energy) regarding "Request to call Eskom board before Committee" from the UDM President (26 January 2010)

Dear Madam

The abovementioned matter has reference. I write in my capacity as a Member of Parliament. Herewith my request that you invite the Board of Eskom to appear before the Portfolio Committee of Energy in the wake of the troubling issues that were raised in the recent NERSA hearings regarding Eskom’s financial strategy and material conflicts of interest.

High on the agenda for such a meeting should be whether the Board was aware of the stake in the Hitachi deal of ANC investment company, Chancellor House. The Board should brief the Committee on the history of the deal: In particular, why Hitachi received the deal, what the role of politicians was in the process and whether Hitachi essentially bribed their way into the winning position by partnering with Chancellor House.

We would also like to hear the Board’s views on the untenable situation created where proposed massive tariff increases will directly benefit the ruling party to the tune of billions of Rands, whilst having a major negative impact on the entire economy. It creates the impression that the public is being coerced into funding the ruling party by way of tariffs.

Parliament needs to satisfy itself that this deal does not constitute a conflict of interest. If it is proven that there is in fact a conflict of interest, the Board should show cause why the deal should not be cancelled.

Yours sincerely
Bantu Holomisa