Eskom vows to maintain stable power supply

Eskom said both S&P and Moody’s have noted its improved energy supply and maintenance programme.

Eskom’s Hendrina Power Station in Mpumalanga. Picture:

JOHANNESBURG - Eskom has vowed to continue to ensure the country's power grid remains stable after Standard & Poor's Global said the parastatal's efforts contributed to its decision to keep the country from avoiding junk status.

The rating agency on Friday announced its outlook for South Africa unchanged at BBB-minus, with a negative outlook avoiding junk status.

Eskom spokesperson Khulu Phasiwe said both S&P and Moody's have noted its improved energy supply and maintenance programme, as a factor in economic growth.

"S&P did cite Eskom as one of the key reasons as to why they have decided to affirm South Africa's credit rating to where it is now. So one of the issues that it mentioned is that Eskom has been doing very well in making sure it maintains the power system."

Meanwhile, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan has paid tribute to the business sector for joining with government to prevent a rating downgrade.

Gordhan said government is now working to turn the economy around but this must be a collective effort.

S&P Global said there have been concerns about political instability but Gordhan said this is normal as the country is approaching an election period.

"We're going towards elections, so I think we must explain to the world, collectively, that in any democracy in the world you're going to get noisy period."

But he said all in government need to realise that there needs to be a collective effort to improve the economy.

"We require all of us to see not only our immediate interests as being important, but national interests as equally important."

In response to the ratings decision, government says in a statement that the rating outcome demonstrates that South Africans can unite, especially during difficult times, to achieve a common mission.