Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana says National Treasury has withdrawn Eskom’s partial exemption from the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA) granted to the power utility last week.
Godongwana announced the withdrawal during a joint meeting of Parliament’s Committee on Appropriations, the Standing Committee on Finance, the Standing Committee on Public Accounts, the Standing Committee on the Auditor General and the Portfolio Committee on Public Enterprises.
The exemption would have allowed Eskom to report irregular, fruitless and wasteful expenditure on its annual report and not annual financial statements.
“The public has taken an interest in this matter precisely because of the history of corruption. We appreciate that South Africans are quite aggressive and vigilant against corruption, which is going to be an important point for our society. We take that as a positive step,” Godongwana said.
The minister also revealed that he had “an intensive discussion” with the Auditor General on the matter.
“In that meeting, there were some comments by the AG which have to be part of the framing of the gazette.
“In light of those comments and generally the comments by the public, we have decided to withdraw the gazette for now and take all these comments into account,” he said.
In the parliamentary meeting on Wednesday, Godongwana reiterated that the intention of the exemption was “not to hide anything” but to allow the power utility to have a better financial statement and protect the fiscus, considering government’s R254 billion debt arrangement with the power utility.