South Africa

Eskom paid R80 000 for knee guards that cost R320 at Builders

Former Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter revealed that the company paid R80 000 for a pair of knee guards that cost R320 at Builders Warehouse.

De Ruyter made this revelation during an interview with My Guest Tonight With Annika Larsen shortly before he left the company.

He was scathing towards the South African police and security services, saying they do little to protect Eskom against widespread fraud and corruption.

De Ruyter highlighted one case where a buyer bought knee guards on behalf of Eskom for R80 000 each.

“Now, these things cost about R320 a pair at Builder’s Warehouse. We paid R80 000 each. So, the arrest was affected,” De Ruyter.

The former Eskom CEO insisted that there was the equivalent of a perp walk at the power station to demonstrate that they take crime seriously.

However, the next day, the perpetrator was released on the instructions of a senior police officer without any charges.

“Now, you have to say, how is this possible? So I think it’s fair to say that the response of the South African police has been disappointing,” De Ruyter said.

There are many other examples of Eskom overpaying for basic items which can be bought at significantly reduced prices at retail stores.

Business Day, citing a confidential report, revealed that Eskom also paid exorbitant prices for containers and grass trimmers at the Tutuka power station.

In 2020, Eskom paid R940 000 for an oil storage container that could have been bought for R80 000. The container ended up being used to store old tyres.

In another case, Eskom paid a company R600 000 to fix 12 grass trimmers. The power utility could have bought 12 new grass trimmers for R114 000.

To add insult to injury, “not all the grass trimmers were returned to Eskom, and of those that were returned, only seven were in working order after the repair work”.

MyBroadband previously reported that Eskom paid R26 per single one-ply toilet paper roll, R51 per black refuse bag, and R21 for a litre of milk.

De Ruyter previously provided examples of Eskom placing orders with excessive values for components by buyers at the Matla and Kendal power stations.

In one instance, a buyer at Kendal Powers Station placed an order to refurbish two compressors for R368,550. The price of two new compressors would have been R112 000.

It was later discovered that the company that received the contract had subcontracted another company to perform the work, which in turn sub-contracted yet another company.

The job was ultimately completed for R41 400 – R327 150 less than what Eskom paid to the company that received the contract.


Top JSE indices