Tubular Construction Projects (TCP), one of the companies involved in claims by Eskom that he paid them too much, denies that he received any excess payments from Eskom.
The company said on Tuesday through its legal representative, Luqmaan Hassan of RHK Attorneys at Law, that it had not received any such payments from Eskom.
TCP explained in a statement that it had entered into a contract with Eskom in December 2015 for the construction of air-cooled condensers for three of the power generation units at the Kusile coal-fired power station near Witbank in Mpumalanga.
In a report that Eskom sent to parliament’s standing committee on public accounts earlier this month, Eskom alleges that TCP submitted an engineering proposal that was amended with treasury approval, but Eskom had questions about whether the amendment had brought any value.
TCP, in turn, contends the amendment was the result of a contract claim it filed because Eskom had not complied with previously agreed contracts. In addition, he has several contractual claims that he has submitted that have not yet been resolved. Although Eskom was successful with one of the claims in that a tribunal ruled in its favor and it received R163 million back, TCP says it reserves its right under the contract to refer the decision for arbitration.
Eskom had earlier claimed that TCP had contracted him in 2012 for the construction of a water purification plant at Kusile, where an overpayment of R450 million was being investigated. However, according to Hassan’s letter, TCP claims that this contract was not awarded to TCP, but to a joint venture called Tubular Zamani Joint Venture (TZJV), which is not part of TCP.
TCP does say that the contract for the water treatment plant was full of problems from the beginning, with significant changes in the scope of work that had to be done due to the review of the design by the engineers that Eskom had appointed. There were also several problems due to equipment that Eskom had to deliver, but which was delivered too late.
This led to a claim for an extension of time. Its costs were audited by Eskom’s own consultants. The claims also ended up before a tribunal and a decision was made in favor of TZJV, but Eskom has not yet fulfilled its obligation in terms of the decision, says TCP.
In addition, Eskom canceled the contract by January this year because it could not provide the remaining material needed to complete the project, TCP claims.
According to Hassan’s letter, TCP was approached by the state’s special investigation unit in November 2018 and the company gave its full cooperation in the unit’s investigation into its involvement with Eskom. However, he did not want to say more about this because the case is sub judice.
Eskom, in turn, says the special investigation unit is dealing with civil claims, and two former Eskom officials, as well as two other people, have already been arrested in connection with the case.