Johannesburg City Power chairperson Reverend Frank Chikane on Thursday said the company’s board welcomes any forensic investigation into multibillion-rand tenders awarded by the entity.
City Mayor Herman Mashaba earlier this month said he would start such an investigation after hearing of serious allegations about the tender processes at the organisation.
Speaking at a media briefing, in Johannesburg, Chikane said the company had already launched its own “zero tolerance against corruption” campaign, with City Power having made significant progress to date.
“Concerted efforts to clamp down on fraud and corruption have culminated in around 874 cases being registered with the South African Police Services since 2014,” he pointed out.
Since then, 274 successful convictions have been made, with nine cases of unethical behaviour by management also having been recorded. Six of these cases were still in progress, while three have been finalised.
A further five cases, relating to insurance claims, were also finalised and submitted to City Power’s insurance company, while 30 staff members were dismissed after being found guilty of improper conduct.
This clampdown has also led to the arrest of members of a cable-theft syndicate last year. This included the arrest of one senior City Power official. This matter is before the courts.
City Power also uncovered corruption in its metering and meter-reading division, as well as abuse of benefits by its staff, such as travel allowances, overtime and other benefits.
“If any evidence is found of fraud and corruption within City Power, the board will not hesitate to act in accordance with the law. We will take initiative and act swiftly,” Chikane asserted.
In 2015, the entity recorded R2.3-billion in lost revenue as a result of electricity theft.
The city is also facing a R68-billion electricity infrastructure backlog.