/ 20 April 2010

Chancellor House nets R50m from Eskom deal

The ANC’s investment arm Chancellor House will receive R50-million over eight years in profits from Eskom’s Medupi and Kusile Power Stations, Hitachi Power Africa said on Tuesday.

“Chancellor House will only share in the profits of the local scope and it will not be billions … We are looking at about R50-million over a period of eight years. That’s the magnitude,” said Hitachi Power Africa chief executive Johannes Musel.

That money would not go to any political party, said Musel, because the beneficiaries of the Chancellor House Trust were “natural persons”.

“It will go back to natural persons such as women, the youth, the disabled, the aged … I see some of you are smiling. It’s for you to speculate, it’s for me to tell you the truth,” Musel told reporters in Johannesburg.

Hitachi chief finance officer Robin Duff added: “We really want to put the record right. We have done what we can to ensure that there is no funding going to political parties.”

The ANC owns 25% in Hitachi through Chancellor House and Hitachi has been awarded the contract to build boilers for the two power stations.

ANC treasurer general Mathews Phosa is on record as saying the party’s investment arm would dispose of the stake within six weeks.

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But he has been contradicted by secretary general Gwede Mantashe, who said the decision did not belong to Luthuli House as Chancellor House had its own board.

He added that Chancellor House’s stake in Hitachi did not translate into the ANC having a stake in the consortium.

The link between the ruling party, its investment company and Eskom’s expansion programme, and allegations about the extent of any conflict of interest, have been hotly debated for months.

In February, a public protector’s report found ANC heavyweight and former Eskom chairperson Valli Moosa had failed to manage a conflict of interest that arose when the utility awarded the Medupi contract to the Hitachi consortium. — Sapa