South Africa: Eskom Still Investigating R400m Tutuka Tender, 19 Months After Whistle-Blower Complaint

In January 2022, a whistle-blower expressed concerns over a R400-million tender to rehabilitate the Tutuka Power Station in Mpumalanga. Now 19 months later, Eskom’s forensic and anti-corruption unit is still examining the allegations.

On 13 December 2021, Eskom advertised a tender for the R400-million renovation of the electrostatic precipitators (ESPs) at two units at Tutuka Power Station in Mpumalanga.

ESP is a type of filter installed in coal-fired power plants that uses static electricity to remove soot and ash from exhaust fumes. It is also a common air pollution control device.

The refurbishment of the ESPs at Tutuka is critical to reducing the health impact of particulate emissions on neighbouring communities and ensuring compliance with the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment’s minimum emission standards.

In January 2022, a whistle-blower alerted Eskom’s forensic unit that J&C Engineering, which was awarded the tender in July 2022, allegedly had access to confidential bid documents prior to the issuing of the tender, advertised with the tender number MWP1067PS.

The anonymous whistle-blower’s claims, which Daily Maverick has seen, particularly related to an Excel file named “copy of ESP Spares Pricing Schedule”, which contained a worksheet titled “price list”.

The author of the spreadsheet was listed as Martin Quari, an employee at J&C. It was created on 28 June 2021, six months before the tender went out, and was purportedly modified by Tshogarebone Thobejane, an employee…


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