Oracle withdraws tech support from Eskom over payment dispute

According to Bloomberg, state power utility Eskom is urgently seeking new providers of technical support after Oracle Corp.’s South African unit withdrew its services over a payment dispute.

South Africa’s Eskom Says Oracle Halts Technical Support

By Felix Njini

(Bloomberg) – Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd. said it’s urgently seeking new providers of technical support after Oracle Corp.’s South African unit withdrew its services over a payment dispute.

The state power utility has been in a disagreement with Oracle, which initially claimed Eskom underpaid it by about R7.3bn ($511m), before reducing the amount to R380m. Eskom is only prepared to pay R166m, spokesman Sikonathi Mantshantsha said by phone 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“Oracle has withdrawn its services,” Mantshantsha said.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.”

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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 Africa’s most industrialised 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,” Mantshantsha said.

Oracle spokesman Gaurav Bhatnagar said via email that Eskom “should pay the pending dues for the Oracle software that they owe us.”

(Updates with Oracle comment in final paragraph of article.)

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