Eskom has said it’s urgently seeking new providers of technical support after Oracle’s South African unit withdrew its services over a payment dispute.
The state-owned power utility has been in a disagreement with Oracle, which initially claimed Eskom underpaid it by about R7.3-billion, before reducing the amount to R380-million. Eskom is only prepared to pay R166-million, spokesman Sikonathi Mantshantsha said by phone on Monday.
“Oracle has withdrawn its services,” Mantshantsha said. “Eskom has implemented its contingency plans to reduce any risk from this. We have been working on that plan for the past two weeks.”
Eskom earlier this month lost a court bid to compel Oracle to continue providing services until April 2022. The debt-laden utility is battling pressure from creditors and has struggled for years to provide reliable power, leading to supply disruptions that ripple through the economy.
Mantshantsha declined to say whether Oracle’s withdrawal would lead to power-supply disruptions. “Eskom is now out on an urgent procurement tender to find this technical support elsewhere,” he said.
Oracle spokesman Gaurav Bhatnagar didn’t answer three calls to his phone or immediately respond to e-mailed questions. — Reported by Felix Njini, (c) 2021 Bloomberg LP