- Eskom has confirmed it is involved in a contractual dispute with the South African arm of Oracle Corporation.
- Oracle was contracted to provide a number of technical services to Eskom.
- Oracle first claimed it had been underpaid by an amount of approximately R7.3 billion, which underpayment is disputed by Eskom.
Eventually, the amount claimed by Oracle was reduced to just under R400 million. As far as Eskom is concerned, the amount due to Oracle is approximately R166 million in total.
Eskom offered to settle the R166 million, and proposed a verification and court process in order to legally and sustainably resolve the dispute. 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.
Last week the court dismissed the application. It is the intention of Eskom to launch an application for leave to appeal.
As far as the technical support services are concerned, Eskom have assessed the risks in the event of Oracle withdrawing technical services support. Eskom has interim risk mitigating processes in place to reduce the risk of its operations being disrupted.
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 processes.
Author: Bryan Groenendaal