Eskom downfall

over whether to split Eskom into three parts was urgent as a decision was needed in the next month, public enterprises minister Pravin Gordhan told business leaders on Wednesday.

The comments indicate the speed with which government intends to move in restructuring the troubled utility, which supplies almost all of SA’s energy and whose financial and operational crises threaten to cripple the whole economy, with an eye to making decisions as soon as the tabling of the budget in February.

task team set up by President Cyril Ramaphosa is to share its recommendations with the cabinet this week.source

Recommendations include splitting Eskom into three separate state-owned companies dealing with generation, transmission and distribution, as well as a substantial debt bailout from government.

Eskom is in dire financial straits with R419bn in debt, which it is unable to service from its own revenue.

Government has previously rejected suggestions that it should take on R100bn of the debt into its own book, with Ramaphosa saying in December that government was looking at other options.

Gordhan said that problems at state-owned companies could not be solved without restructuring.