Reports of inflated contracts for chairs ‘misleading’‚ says Eskom

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Eskom has rejected what it calls “the malicious and misleading” media reports that the company had “wildly-inflated contracts” for office and meeting room chairs.

The power parastatal said it was also incorrect to suggest that the National Treasury had approved the purchase of only 500 chairs out of the 9‚270 that Eskom had applied for.

“In a letter dated 7 August 2017‚ the National Treasury expressly stated that it supported the procurement of 644 chairs (311 for Megawatt Park; 225 for Braamfontein and 108 for Academy of Learning offices)‚ subject to Eskom returning the 100 chairs that it had borrowed from the Eskom Research and Innovation Centre which is based in Germiston. The above approval only relates to the acquisition of chairs for Eskom’s Gauteng offices‚” Eskom said in a statement on Saturday.

“Moreover‚ after receiving additional information from Eskom‚ the National Treasury wrote another letter to Eskom‚ stating that: ‘The reasons provided [for the acquisition of chairs] are justifiable’‚ adding that: ‘National Treasury will finalise the application after receiving explanations and evidence of the information mentioned’‚” it added.

Eskom said it was now awaiting finalisation of the entire contract modification request‚ which provides for Eskom’s offices‚ power stations and customer network centres in other provinces.

“Moreover‚ after receiving additional information from Eskom‚ the National Treasury wrote another letter to Eskom‚ stating that: ‘The reasons provided [for the acquisition of chairs] are justifiable’‚ adding that: ‘National Treasury will finalise the application after receiving explanations and evidence of the information mentioned’‚” it added.

It added: “In 2013‚ the Eskom Real Estate department‚ which is accountable for property and furniture within Eskom‚ embarked on a ‘Real Estate Master Plan Project’ which covered 102 corporate office buildings across the country‚ with the aim of improving the quality of the workplace environment. Some of the offices that were identified for refurbishment were found to be in a dilapidated state‚ and not being compliant to the Occupational Health and Safety regulations. They posed safety risks to employees‚ and visitors‚ and therefore remedial action has been recommended to mitigate that risk.

“As part of the refurbishment‚ Eskom requested National Treasury for approval to expand or modify a contract to buy new chairs as and when required. Some of the chairs in many of the Eskom sites are broken‚ and pose a risk to employees.

“Eskom will take a directive from the National Treasury on the way forward.”

– TimesLIVE

Source: TMG Digital.

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