FILE: Businessman Patrice Motsepe. Picture: Thomas Holder/ EWN.

JOHANNESBURG – Chairperson and founder of African Rainbow Energy and Power Patrice Motsepe says he’s concerned by the perception that there’s a conflict of interest in his contracts with the Energy Department.

Motsepe held a briefing on Monday, to deny allegations that the decision to unbundle Eskom, which was announced by his brother-in-law, President Cyril Rampahosa, will benefit his company.

He’s also given clarity on the contacts he has within the Energy Department, headed by his other brother-in-law, Energy Minister Jeff Radebe.

Motsepe says he’s always avoided doing business with the government, and all his projects with independent power producers involve privately-owned companies.

He says they also had to go through a billing process: “We have to pay more than the other people who are billing with us. One of the advantages was we committed almost R400 million of our own money… not borrowed money, our own money.”

Motsepe says he understands that ordinary South Africans may not understand this.

“We’re talking about educated South African or even so must your middle class because they can look at the facts and form an opinion. A lot of issues are going to be said about it.”

The businessman says his company cannot cancel its contract with the government due to legal obligations.