Gordhan: Govt considering additional financial support for Eskom

The government said in February it would give Eskom a R69 billion bailout over the next three years to help it service its R420 billion debt mountain.

FILE: Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan briefs the media. Picture: Sethembiso Zulu/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan says the highest levels of government are considering a variety of additional financial support measures for Eskom.

Eskom, which has implemented some of the most severe power cuts this year, is battling for survival after a decade of steep decline during which its costs soared and electricity sales stagnated.

The government said in February it would give Eskom a R69 billion bailout over the next three years to help it service its R420 billion debt mountain.

But energy experts say the bailout is insufficient to make Eskom financially sustainable in the long term, especially since South Africa’s energy regulator awarded Eskom smaller tariff hikes than it asked for.

Gordhan says they’re working hard to ensure there will be no load shedding, but if there is it will be limited to stage one.

“The other indication that we want to bring to the South African public, which will also create room for optimism and hope, is that if there is load shedding, it be level one load shedding on a few occasions between now and at least until the end of August.”

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)