Eskom's money woes continue

Speculation is mounting that some Cabinet ministers may be considering selling parts of Eskom to raise money.

FILE: Eskom's Arnot Power Station in Mpumalanga. Picture: Supplied.

JOHANNESBURG - Speculation appears to be mounting that some Cabinet ministers may be seriously considering selling parts of Eskom to raise money.

The Business Day newspaper says ministers trying to alleviate the utility's cash crisis are seriously considering selling some power stations to the private sector.

Last week, Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown said the selling of assets, possible tariff hikes and private sector equity were all options that had to be considered in any serious discussion about the power utility's future.

But the Congress of South African Trade Unions is likely to fight any privatisation of Eskom.

Energy expert Chris Yelland says Eskom needs more money to build new power stations.

"We can't raise the money through the tariff anymore. The regulator has passed through R7.8 billion."

Last week, the National Energy Regulator of South Africa said it will draft an implementation plan that will determine exactly how Eskom will recover almost R8 billion in losses from consumers.

The energy regulator granted Eskom permission to adjust rates next year above the eight percent increase already granted.

Meanwhile, the Cape Chamber Of Commerce and Industry said it feared further electricity price hikes would hamper business growth.

Eskom has not confirmed the exact percentage increase.