- Due to a contract, Eskom has had to pay Optimum mine, owned by the Gupta's, over R1 billion
- The power utility has not received any coal from the mine, and stage 1 load-shedding has been implemented
- Workers at the mine are striking for their monthly salaries, which they have not received
The Gupta-owned Optimum coal mine has received R705 million from Eskom since March, IOL reports. However, coal levels are low, which has lead to stage 1 load shedding across the country in November. Eskom has no longer been receiving coal from the mine, however is continuing to pay.
The Eskom plants which receive coal from the Gupta owned mines receive it from the Optimum mine. Optimum mine is owned by the company Tegeta Exploration and Resources, which is a company that is owned by Oakbay Investments, the company owned by the Gupta's.
The Optimum mine can produce more than 200 000 tons of coal per month. Eskom pays R150 per ton.
Briefly.co.za reported almost a year ago on how Tegeta had threatened to cut off the coal supply to Eskom, at that time, demanding a higher price to be paid for coal.
Because of contracts agreed upon by former Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane and former Eskom acting group CEO Matshela Koko, Eskom has been forced to pay Tegeta. Oakbay is currently under business rescue, however Khulu Phasiwe, the Eskom spokesperson, says that Eskom is still under contract to pay Tegeta. Phasiwe says that the law does not allow for penalties against the mine until the issue is resolved.
It has also been reported that workers at the mine are on strike, because they died not receive their monthly salaries.
Eskom usually keeps a 1 month coal reserve for emergencies. However it is unclear if load-shedding will continue, as currently it is reported that Eskom only has a 10-day reserve.
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