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Eskom seeks to avoid suspension of JSE bonds, recall of $3.7bn loan

Eskom said on Friday that it was committed to publishing the financial results before the end of January to avoid its bonds being suspended by the JSE.

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JOHANNESBURG - Eskom and Treasury are expected to approach local banks this week to restore lending as the company tries to avoid the suspension of its bonds by the JSE.

Government's decision to shake-up Eskom over the weekend and appoint a new 13-member board has been widely welcomed by political parties and business organisations as a move that gives the cash-strapped utility a second chance.

However, Eskom needs to raise about R20 billion over the next few weeks and publish its much-anticipated interim financial results.

Eskom said on Friday that it was committed to publishing the financial results before the end of January to avoid its bonds being suspended by the JSE.

Eskom is also trying to dodge a pending letter of default from the World Bank. This would trigger a 14-day recall on its $3.7 billion loan.

On Thursday, Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba made it clear that Eskom is at the top of government's agenda.

The appointment of businessman Jabu Mabuza has been widely welcomed due to his business experience and his untainted reputation.

The new interim CEO Phakamani Hadebe is a former Absa executive and former Treasury official.

One of the board's first main tasks is to appoint a permanent CEO, something that Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown had called for last year already.

Another bold move by government was instructing the board to remove all employees who face serious allegations, including Matshela Koko who was recently reinstated after being cleared of any wrongdoing by Eskom. Anoj Singh, the suspended CFO who was still due to face an internal disciplinary hearing, was also removed.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)