The Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) has on Tuesday accused Treasury of facilitating what it calls another round of State capture by “recklessly” exempting Eskom and Transnet from disclosing irregular, fruitless and wasteful expenditure.
This comes after Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana’s move to grant the power utility a partial exemption from disclosing irregular spending in its annual financial statements, for three years.
A similar exemption was announced for Transnet in 2022 from the need to disclose any losses arising from criminal conduct, and irregular, fruitless and wasteful expenditure for the financial years of 2021/22, 2022/23 and 2023/24.
Despite Godongwana’s assurance that the exemption will not compromise transparency and accountability, Cosatu says it rejects the move which it calls an “abominable decision devoid of any common sense, good governance, or legal rationale”.
Cosatu argues that Eskom and Transnet were flagged by the Zondo Commission as serial offenders who have no proper management and governance systems.
It warns that the move is a green light to criminals to loot with impunity and adds that the country needs a massive drive to enforce laws against irregular and unauthorised spending and corruption.
“This is the clearest sign that the sixth administration has given up on the fight against corruption and is not prepared to implement the Zondo Commission recommendations. This reckless decision is tantamount to them facilitating another round of State capture. We call on President [Cyril] Ramaphosa to intervene and instruct National Treasury to cancel this bizarre decision immediately,” said Cosatu.
It states that Treasury is always bailing out Eskom without ensuring that proper governance is implemented.
It says the nation has experienced unprecedented levels of loadshedding as a direct consequence of the systematic mismanagement and sabotage of Eskom.
In addition, it says workers are losing wages and being retrenched as workplaces are not able to operate and pay bills.