Eskom a ‘black hole’ – DA on bailout billions

Opposition party the DA has slammed power utility Eskom, saying it is a “black hole” and “no longer viable” following news of an emergency R17.6bn bailout for the ailing state-owned entity.

“Eskom and other state-owned enterprises have become a black hole that the South African taxpayer needs to constantly fill,” said the party’s spokesperson on public enterprises, Natasha Mazzone, on Sunday.

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The emergency bailout followed news that the China Development Bank (CDB) failed to release some R7bn from a loan that the bank and Eskom had concluded in July 2018.

The CDB was meant to release the funds from a $2.5bn (approx. R35bn) facility, but the funds did not materialise due to “central bank exchange control requirements”, according to a Treasury report to Parliament that was signed by Finance Minister Tito Mboweni.

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