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Eskom Probed by South African Government on Environmental Rules

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Nov. 23 (Bloomberg) -- Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd. is being investigated over what the South African government says are breaches in environmental rules by the state power utility.

“We have started investigations into certain individuals at Eskom,” Frances Craigie, a director of enforcement at the Department of Environmental Affairs, said by telephone from Pretoria. In one example, Eskom’s Camden power station east of Johannesburg broke air and water pollution guidelines, she said.

The department will investigate possible criminality by some Eskom employees, Craigie said, declining to elaborate.

Many issues at Camden have been fixed and others need to be addressed through longer term projects, Hilary Joffe, an Eskom spokeswoman, said today by e-mail. The company has yet to review an enforcement report released by the department, she said.

Eskom, which generates 95 percent of the electricity used in Africa’s biggest economy, is spending about 500 billion rand ($56 billion) through 2017 to revive old plants and build new ones to overcome a shortage in capacity. The company increased tariffs by an average 25 percent in each of the past six years.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jaco Visser in Johannesburg at avisser3@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: John Viljoen at jviljoen@bloomberg.net

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