ESKOM waking up and asking TRILLIAN and McKINSEY to pay back the money is well – how can we put it – ‘trying to save face’ would be excessively complimentary.
We all know that the party of theft and corruption is so deep rooted, for the citizens of the country to hope that the funds that have been stolen from within Eskom, Transnet, Denel, let alone within national government tenders or local government, to ever be recovered is to put it optimistically completely unrealistic.
As for the Guptas, or their henchman Salim Essa of Trillian, to pay back the money, what hope can there ever be? The monies have gone out of the country, and with it almost zero hope of recovery. Litigation in this country or overseas will take years, and expensive lawyers for the defence (Trillian) can hold it up for ever. Even if litigation is successful, it can be appealed, and as for getting the money back, it will in all probability have been spent or disappeared.
For parties such as KPMG to pay back R23million for their fraudulent investigation into SARS rogue units is a token, when reportedly they have been paid over R400m this year for audits by South African government departments.
McKinsey will in all probability come to the party and pay something back, but no doubt it will be a fight on the basis that they signed contracts with Eskom. Singh may not have had the executive powers to enter into these arrangements, but he did it anyway and the money was paid. Why, one asks oneself, have Singh and Molefe not been arrested, had their passports removed, and why are they in all probability sitting at home on full pay while being suspended?
It is beyond bizarre that the shareholders of these companies, being the state and in turn the citizens of the country, are not baying for blood. The Ministers in charge, Mrs Brown in particular, have procrastinated and delayed any action, waiting for more reports and inquiries. All delaying tactics of course, designed to allow more time to pass, another scandal to emerge, and for the dirt to be collected along with all the other.
The grand architects in all of it the Guptas, or maybe number 1, it is still uncertain who the real puppeteer is, are laughing. They now seem to have been cut off at the knees and the opportunities to implement more outrageous scams are dwindling, but if you have already stolen so much, it doesn’t really matter. Their humble beginnings are a thing of the past.
Does South Africa have any hope of SHOW ME THE MONEY? Sadly, I think that all the internal processes will come to nought, other than maybe token payments from the private sector (KPMG, maybe McKinsey, Bell Pottinger).
If, however, the government, our representatives in all this skulduggery, requested the USA to work with them, to enforce racketeering and money laundering process, international pressure can be brought to bear on the countries harbouring the money and criminals. The Panama papers are already showing results, and in the case of the UAE, there are many companies and banks that are also active in the USA. Intense pressure can be brought into play, with a real chance of the money being discovered and maybe even returned.
As this blog is always directed towards energy, renewables and environment, the opportunities for future corruption and theft are also dwindling.
The Gupta’s Shiva Uranium (it never made commercial sense anyway), with nuclear being on the back burner, since the court ruling in April, and with Department of Energy saying that nuclear is not needed before 2037, and the private sector showing that it is probably not needed (if ever) before 2050, results in that being a busted flush.
Certainly, a hundred million Rand here and there (it sounds outrageous) may be spent on nuclear feasibility and consultancy, particularly as relations of the President seem to be the nuclear experts, but that seems to be the way it works.
In respects of fracking, (as reported in a previous blog), it would appear to be a non-starter.
Large scale renewables (REIPPPP’s) in respects of Round 3,5 and 4 are promised to be signed, but no doubt it will prove to be just lip service, (don’t hold your breath).
The disruptive technologies, in terms of behind the meter technology, of solar water heaters and rooftop solar PV will do their own thing despite no assistance from government. Electricity prices will continue north and simultaneously the growth of these technologies will grow, for the simple reason that it will be cheaper than buying electricity from Eskom or resellers.
As for the Minister now playing musical chairs with the CEO's of Eskom, such a policy shows not only desperation, but it also inspires little confidence in any real attempt to bring accountability. Cynically, such action will fail to accelerate any recoveries of money, it will also provide time for the past corruption to be pushed further under the carpet. Or are these moves just another attempt from number 1, to install different puppets in top executive positions to do his bidding? We will all be waiting for 'SHOW ME THE MONEY' or rather it should be "PAY BACK THE MONEY"
(SHOW ME THE MONEY was the punchline in the movie Jerry Maguire, with Tom Cruise and Cuba Gooding Jr).
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