The Standing Committee on Public Accounts (SCOPA) today met with the Minister in the Presidency, Mr Mondli Gungubele, and the Deputy Minister in the Presidency responsible for state security, Mr Zizi Kodwa, on the vetting of Eskom officials.
The committee set out its position and the Minister understood the committee’s position. He indicated that he is consulting on certain legal aspects of the matter. The report for the committee is due in the week of 12 December 2022, as Parliament is going on recess and no parliamentary committee meetings are scheduled after that date for the remainder of the year. The first available date to schedule meetings is Tuesday, 24 January 2023, when committees resume.
It was agreed that having heard from the committee and gone through its legal opinion and consulting on the legal aspects, the Minister will appear before the committee on Tuesday, 24 January 2023. In the event that exceptional circumstances arise, the committee will make a special application for a meeting.
The committee’s position is that issues around vetting must be reported on. As was indicated by Eskom in October of this year, vetting of 100 employees has not taken place, including the Group Chief Executive Officer. The committee heard today that the delay in the vetting the CEO arose because he has not complied with submissions that are due to the State Security Agency (SSA) for the purposes of vetting.
Accordingly, the SCOPA Chairperson will write to the Eskom Board and the CEO seeking clarification on the matters raised by SSA. The committee will seek an explanation as to why the CEO has not complied, if he has not complied. The committee takes a dim view on negotiations around vetting, because it is a statutory requirement, as decided by Cabinet. It is the committee’s view that those who refuse vetting should exit the public service.
Issued by The Chairperson of SCOPA, Mkhuleko Hlengwa