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Eskom experiencing cash flow problem

The DA has demanded the Eskom pay back the R31m in bonuses awarded to directors, immediately.

The DA has demanded the Eskom pay back the R31m in bonuses awarded to directors, immediately.  Picture: Taurai Maduna/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Eskom says it's experiencing a cash flow problem but has stopped short of clarifying whether bonuses will be paid this financial year-end.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) is calling on the electricity giant to pay back the R31 million bonuses awarded to directors immediately, in order to buy generators for emergency services such as hospitals affected by the power cuts.

Eskom had to implement rolling blackouts this week, due to severe pressure on the power grid, the first time the power giant has implemented load-shedding in six years.

It said the situation was similar to what happened in 2008.

The power utility's Chairperson Zola Tsotsi says the public must wait until it publishes its financial statements and then make comments about bonuses.

"We're not talking about the cash flow issues at the time we are issuing bonuses. I don't we've talked about bonuses in this financial year at all. A financial year we're talking about is a financial year we're experiencing this particular problem of cash flow."

LOAD-SHEDDING IS THE LAST RESORT

Eskom CEO Brian Dames has once again urged customers to switch off unnecessary appliances to avoid more load-shedding.

"For the next two months that is the case, it's all red. Any unforeseen events with the system in a red state are certainly a risk. It makes the whole system vulnerable."

He says load-shedding is the power giant's last resort.

"The procedures where we deal with critical loads in terms of the codes of practice around hospitals and airports are in place. These cannot be kept off the schedules and therefore sometimes it's necessary that they do have emergency back-up generators in place."