Eskom: The abyss just gets deeper

NEWS ANALYSIS

In late February, the 20th to be precise, Finance Minister Tito Mboweni detailed in his budget how R23-billion would be made available for the next three years so that Eskom could get its financial and operational affairs in order.

The announcement was generally welcomed as what was expected was a huge bailout of say R100-billion to move some of Eskom’s debt on to government’s balance sheet. The R23-billion-a-year is more on a pay-as-you-go basis for the fiscus, which would also supposedly not let Eskom off the hook, in that the rescue was linked to the appointment of a chief restructuring officer to reconfigure the ailing state enterprise.

But within five weeks, at the end of March, the power utility — the 11th largest globally and the country’s biggest enterprise with turnover last year of R177-billion — needed emergency funding to be kept functioning.

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