Eskom Lifestyle Audit Highlights 34 High-Risk Cases

Power utility Eskom CEO André de Ruyter said the lifestyle audit on 383 executives and senior managers and their partners highlighted 34 high-risk cases that were referred to the Special Investigating Unit (SIU).
Briefing the Standing Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa) on Tuesday, De Ruyter said of the cases handed over to the SIU, seven resulted in no adverse finding, and the cases were closed.
However, De Ruyter said 11 resulted in referrals to Eskom for disciplinary action, and seven employees resigned during the investigation.
One Eskom official was dismissed on unrelated charges, he said.
“A further three cases are in the process of being referred to Eskom for disciplinary action, while the remaining five cases are still under investigation by the SIU,” De Ruyter said.
A report tabled to Scopa said of the 11 disciplinary cases referred to the entity, six Executives were found guilty with sanctions imposed ranging from six or 12 months written warnings to suspension for 14 days.
One executive was found not guilty. Two matters were still pending completion of the investigation.
“Management decided not to implement any consequence management action for one executive. One executive retired from Eskom,” reads the report.
Asked about the 5595 referrals by SIU on other investigations, De Ruyter said 17 of those disciplinary cases have not started, while 51 cases were in progress.
He said a total of 1651 disciplinary processes had been completed with various sanctions imposed.
The sanctions included written warnings, dismissals and suspension without pay.
“Based on our internal assessment, 3864 cases resulted in no disciplinary action being taken after an investigation,” he said.
De Ruyter said they had put measures to ensure that the dismissed employees did not return to work for the entity on fixed contracts or as employees of contractors.
“We have a register of former employees that are then prevented from coming back to Eskom.
“We did note there were a number of attempts by former employees to, again, attempt to enter the Eskom system. We have taken steps to prevent that from happening.”
Asked about action against those that resigned before disciplinary action was taken, De Ruyter said they were unable to take action if there had been no finding against them.
“We would prejudice the rights of the individuals. This is clearly a risk. There are some tactical resignations done to avoid finding by a disciplinary process,” he said.
Asked if such individuals were to be listed on the register of former employees, De Ruyter said it would be difficult to discriminate against people on the basis of suspicion without them being found guilty through a proper process.
“That will expose us to litigation and unfair treatment of those former employees,” he said.