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Eskom’s debt below R400bn amid funding talks, Gordhan says

Utility is seeking R140bn to fund transition to renewables.
Image: Bloomberg

South African power utility Eskom Holdings has reduced its debt to less than R400 billion as discussions ensue to secure funding for a transition to renewable energy, Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan.

Read: Eskom seeks R140bn for shift from coal

The state-owned company announced in May it had reduced debt by a fifth to about R401 billion.

“Eskom has done further work to reduce the debt to below R400 billion,” Gordhan said Wednesday by phone from the capital, Pretoria. “The exact number is still a work in progress,” he said, without providing more details.

Eskom hasn’t been producing enough electricity to meet the nation’s needs, resulting in intermittent power shortages. The utility isn’t generating enough cash to cover its operating expenses and interest bill, leaving it dependent on government bailouts to survive.

Chief executive officer Andre de Ruyter has taken measures to cuts costs and find green funding to reduce the company’s reliance on government support. That could be dependent on it retiring coal-fired power plants ahead of schedule.

“We have had quite a few discussions with quite a few interested parties, including many development finance institutions, who are prepared to provide concessional funding to Eskom” for a transition to clean energy, Gordhan said. “The ultimate solution will be to integrate all these solutions to enable a just energy transition.”

© 2021 Bloomberg

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Jamnadas. Under which rock were you hiding? Time to come out and claim credit for the debt reduction at Eskom? Nice try Jamnadas-now see if you can buy a fleet of new A 350s for that fine airline SAA and if it comes right go pinch the credit there as well.

Hey Pravin!!! If you want to be in business go and open your own pharmacy or something!!!

ESKOM should not go near any renewables. Renewables should be private from the word go. Once up and running ESKOM (you and your bosses MESS) can be put out of its misery.

Its enough. ESKOM cant be trusted and nor can you and your boss!!!

Funding!!! I ASK YOU!!!????

Surely if the reduction of the debt was by way of converting into into some kind of PIC equity or similar instrument then they have merely rearranged the Titanic deck chairs?

Eskom is still a glorified labour camp or social grant project for Tripartite members. That is the main reason why Eskom does not generate enough revenue to cover its operating running costs. They ran coal and gold mines at a loss in the USSR for the same reasons. They were waiting for a “just transition” to protect unproductive jobs. The only problem is, they went bankrupt before they could create that “just transition”.

Eskom is a gold mine for the ANC. They mine taxpayer contributions and they extract a high yield from the rich ore of the captured clients who have no alternatives. They run this mine for the benefit of their alliance partners and to the detriment of the citizens. They will keep on going until the Tripartite Alliance falls down the mineshaft.

They want a just transition from an unjustifiable situation. Stuff the employees, what about the rights of consumers? Privatising the entire mess will bring justice to consumers.

Mr Gordhan was credited by his overseas peers as turning SARS into a brilliantly run organization. Ask any accountant who dealt with SARS then, and they will verify it was well run.

He is good at bringing efficiency into large enterprises. This is a fact, albeit an inconvenient fact for some.

End of comments.

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