Estimated reading time: 2 minutes
Eskom finds itself making headline for a different reason. This follows the power utility finding itself in a contractual dispute with Oracle Corporation.
On Monday, 5 April 2021, Eskom’s statement announced the Government-owned entity had put contingency measures into place to reduce the related risk of its reliance on the American corporation.
According to Eskom, the South African arm of Oracle Corporation is contracted to provide several technical services. However, Oracle stated it was underpaid by approximately R7.3 billion.
However, Eskom claims the figure was then reduced to just under R400 million. Adding to this, the electricity service provider says, “As far as Eskom is concerned, the amount due to Oracle is approximately R166 million in total.”
Since then, the government entity has offered to settle the R166 million, and proposed a verification and court process to legally and sustainably resolve the issue. It stresses, “When Oracle rejected this approach, threatening to terminate its services to Eskom, Eskom approached the high court to compel Oracle in essence to continue providing the technical support services for the duration of the agreement until April 2022.”
The court has since dismissed the application, with Eskom now intending to launch an application for leave to appeal. Regarding the technical support services, the service provider has allegedly assessed the risks involved in Oracle withdrawing its services. An interim risk-mitigating process has been put into place to reduce the risk of its operations being disrupted.
According to a Sunday World report, numerous operations at Eskom rely on Oracle’s products.
This includes the power utility’s online vending systems, which record electricity sales. Eskom also relies on the company’s products and services for the necessary load monitoring of electricity generation by power stations. Concluding, the power utility says, “Eskom finds regrettable the manner in which Oracle has handled the matter, and would like to assure the people of South Africa that as an entity dealing with public funds, Eskom will pursue all legal avenues and will not be bullied into paying any monies outside of the legal process.”
While Eskom emphasises it has plans in action, what are your thoughts on the matter and the possibility of the country being plunged into darkness?
Share your views with us in the comment section below.